SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, good afternoon, everyone.  It’s wonderful to be here, wonderful to be back – to be back in this beautiful embassy, and Nawal, thank you so much for your introduction, but also for your leadership at the Women in Business Committee in the American Chamber of Commerce in Algeria.  Grateful for that.

Assalamu alaikum, everybody.  This is a dynamic time for business in Algeria.  We’re seeing that in numbers.  In 2020, the two-way trade between the United States and Algeria totaled $1.2 billion.  In 2021, even with COVID, it more than doubled to $2.6 billion.  And in just the month of January this year alone, two-way trade grows to $331 million just for that month.  So we’re on track to continue to see a significant increase.

We see it as well in the more welcoming business environment that President Tebboune is planning to create through his year of the economy in Algeria.  I’ll have a chance to meet with the president a little bit later today, and one of the things I expect to discuss is the strong collaboration that’s happening across Algerian and American businesses, and across a range of sectors, including renewable energy, technology, and others.  And we’ll talk about ways to draw even more American foreign direct investment here including through improvements in Algeria’s investment climate.  The Algiers International Fair this June, with the U.S. as the country of honor, is going to be an opportunity to deepen all of these efforts.

The Algerian-United States relationship would not be as strong and getting stronger without the groundwork that all of you and your companies have been laying over the years.  Some have been operating here for decades, others started working in Algeria more recently, but together, you’re supporting thousands of Algerian and American jobs and families and communities along with them.  You’re investing in the local workforce, sharing knowledge, best practices between Algerian and American businesses, and building sustainable partnerships that are to the benefit of both of our countries.

So for that, I want to say to everyone, sahha, thank you, and what I want to do now is turn it over to a brief video about the U.S. Pavilion.  So over to the video.

(A video was played.)

Thank you all.  I’m really looking forward to seeing you there.

U.S. Department of State

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