ALGERIA: State insists Renault assembly deal is "win-win" for French workers

By Simon Warburton | 18 December 2012

Algeria's Prime Minister says the deal to be signed tomorrow to construct an assembly plant with Renault will see the French automaker and the Algerian State share costs in a 49%/51% split that is a "win-win" situation.

The agreement - to feature the Societe Nationale des Vehicules Industrielles (SNVI) in Ouargla - coincides with the State visit to Algeria by French President, Francois Hollande and comes as Renault is looking to capitalise on its existing lion's share of its neighbour's fast-growing market which increased by 50% this year.

However, perhaps with an eye on twitchy French unions, who are currently locked in a series of talks with Renault concerning future productivity, Algerian Prime Minister, Abdelmalek Sellal, insisted workers across the Mediterranean would not lose out, although he stopped short of saying precisely how. 

"What you have to understand, is that French industry wins in this matter," said Sellal. "It's a perfect win-win. We will remain firm with French workers."

The new factory will be in the coastal city of Oran to the west of Algiers and will train 6,000 young Algerians, although how many vehicle assembly jobs will be created, is as yet, unknown.

Tomorrow's ceremony is a step forward in Franco-Algerian cooperation with the two countries often enjoying frosty relations following Paris' relinquishing of its status as colonial ruler, albeit some decades ago.

"We expect to open a new chapter in this visit in relations between Algeria and France based on friendship and cooperation," said Abdelmalek.

"We can't forget our past, all Algerians are proud of their past, their war of national liberation. We have to remember our past, it's a clear and precise thing, but the essential is to build the future."