ALGIERS, April 3 (Xinhua) -- Algeria on Tuesday urged Spanish operators to invest non-hydrocarbon sectors, and thus take advantage of the facilitation offered by the government in this regard.
"We are satisfied with political relations, cooperation and trade exchange between Algeria and Spain," Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia said in his notes at the inauguration of the Algerian-Spanish Business Forum held in Algiers, as part of the visit of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy Brey to the North African nation.
"Yet, the Spanish economic presence and investments in Algeria are still modest," said Ouyahia.
"Some 500 Spanish firms came to Algeria since 2000, but they returned home as soon as they delivered the projects," Ouyahia added.
Mariano noted that "Algeria is a strategic and reliable partner, given that it ensures 50 percent of Spain's natural gas needs, and is a major player in the Maghreb and the African Union."
He further recalled that Algeria is Spain's second largest commercial partner in Africa, noting that the Spanish presence in Algeria is mainly in sectors of energy, water, waste management, transport, chemical industry and air navigation.
In 2017, Spain was ranked third largest customer of Algeria with a total of 4.1 billion U.S. dollars, and the fifth largest supplier of the North African nation with 3.1 billion dollars.
Yet, Spain overcame Italy in the first two months of 2018 to become Algeria's largest customer of Algeria, according to figures of Algerian customs.