Algeria - Selling and buying
Reaching the consumers
The Blanky group dominates the foodstuffs sector. It has taken over the stores which were previously managed by the State firm "les galeries algériennes". The Promy group is also a large one, and offers various types of products: textiles, electrical appliances, foodstuffs of which 75% are produced in Algeria. Alongside them, there is a multitude of small retail outlets. For example, Danone products (40% market share for fresh dairy products) are sold above all in small local shops.
The UGCAA (General Union of Algerian Shopkeepers and Craftsmen) encourages foreign distributors to set up in Algeria, as, in its opinion, this would reduce the weight of unofficial trade; this is thought to have represented 35% of commercial activity in 2004 spread over 2 400 unofficial markets (irrespective of the sector of activity) and 500 000 shopkeepers. As a comparison, at the Register of Commerce, only 648 supermarkets and mini-markets are registered. However, the large foreign stores are discouraged by the cost of the investment and the complexity of Customs. This is especially the case of Carrefour which is still hesitating about opening Champion stores in the country.
For their part, the small local shops are not worried about foreign companies setting up; they consider that mass marketing meets the needs of more well-to-do customers than theirs. Given that the purchasing power of most Algerians remains low, they continue to prefer shopping at the local shopkeeper's.
Market access procedures
Member of the African Union
Member of the Arab League
Member of the Arab Maghreb Union
Member of the Arab Free Trade Zone (AFTZ).
The country have signed a trade agreement with 21 other countries in the São Paulo Round of the Global System of Trade Preferences among Developing Countries (GSTP).
To consult import procedures, click here (in French).
Organizing goods transport
Nevertheless, according to the Ministry of Transport, all the airport services management companies (EGSA) together register an increase of 2% of the volume of freight handled every year. Air Algérie, the country's main airline, handles more than 25,000 tons in a year.
The distances to be traveled by land are long. The motorway network is still limited. In the absence of reliable statistics on the activity of private sector road transport, it is very difficult to estimate the real volume of goods traveling by road in Algeria.
The National Rail Transport Company (SNTF) carry an average of 8.5 million tons of goods each year.