Gulf Finance House (GFH) yesterday said it will establish a GFH Economic Development Zone on the outskirts of Algiers, the capital city of Algeria.
The zone will be the primary commercial development within the new planned city of Bouinan and is expected to have an end value of more than $3 billion (Dh11bn) once completed on a site extending to at least 2.8 square kilometres.
The Algerian zone is the second GFH Economic Development Zone, swiftly following the launch of the first, the GFH Mumbai Economic Development Zone in India, last year.
The GFH special projects team is currently working with international industry experts to finalise the business districts of the zone and the business clusters within each business district. It is expected that the zone could include energy, financial, telecommunications, and IT business districts as well as residential development and leisure facilities.
The announcement followed recent talks between GFH Chairman Esam Janahi and Cherif Rahmani, Minister of Land Planning, the Environment and Tourism.
The concept of the zone was presented to the minister by Peter Panayiotou, acting CEO of GFH, at the Assises Nationales et Internationales du Tourisme conference in Algiers this week.
Janahi said: “GFH is continuing to build on its leadership in the field of economic infrastructure. The GFH Economic Development Zone in Algiers is another example of the credibility that the GFH team has with the highest level of government and confirms the value that governments see in our end-to-end economic development programme.
“The GFH team always works with the best industry experts and invests time, money in analysing national economies and engineering ways of increasing the strength of those economies. This is our core business. We aim to make a difference in Algeria,” said Janahi
Rahmani said: “We are pleased with the unique approach taken by GFH and the vision they have shown. Economic development is vital to any nation and we believe that this initiative will act as a catalyst that will bring new ideas and new industries to Algeria.
“We are a relatively prosperous nation but we would like to see a greater proportion of our GDP being generated by other industries and sectors as currently there is a certain amount of concentration in the oil and gas sector. GFH will help to create interest in Algeria particularly amongst global corporations,” said Rahmani.
Panayiotou said: “Algeria’s economy is strong. It is a major player in the oil and gas industry and has a sufficiently large population to be able to successfully diversify its economy. Clearly there are challenges ahead and we will work closely with the government to help enhance the appeal of the country for further foreign investment.
“As an Islamic bank I believe that our investment in Algeria will send a strong message of support to the Algerian people. We see great potential here. The country is yearning to move forward and we can play a role in helping to create new jobs and opportunities.
“We promised the government that we would consult with them on our conclusions regarding the specific business districts that we would create. We have expertise in energy through our network of energy cities in Qatar, India and Libya.
“We have a wide experience in financial services through our network of financial and commercial business districts in Bahrain, Jordan and now in Tunisia.
We have expertise in telecoms and IT through our projects in Mumbai. We will conduct further analysis of the Algerian economy before we make our final recommendations to the Algerian Government. We are pleased that Rahmani shares our vision and is enthusiastic about what we intend to deliver,” said Panayiotou.
Algeria enjoys the highest GDP in North Africa and has averaged five per cent growth over the past six years thanks to the oil price boom. The oil and gas sector accounts for 46 per cent of Algeria’s GDP and is a powerful driver of economic growth. Alongside this, both the tourism and IT sectors exhibit very high growth potential in the coming years.
The annual growth of GDP in Algeria
The share of oil and gas in Algerian GDP
GFH to establish economic zone in Algeria with $3bn end value