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 presentation, but also for your leadership on the House Women in Business Committee of American commerce in Algeria. Grateful for that.
Assalamu alaykum, Everybody. This is a dynamic time for business in Algeria. We see it in numbers. In 2020, bilateral 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 January of this year alone, bilateral trade reached $331 million for that month alone. So we are on track to continue to see a significant increase.
We also see it in the more welcoming business environment that President Tebboune plans to create through his year of the economy in Algeria. I will have the opportunity to meet with the president later today, and one of the things I expect to discuss is the strong collaboration that exists between Algerian and American companies, and across a range of sectors, including renewable energy, technology, and others. And we’ll talk about ways to attract even more U.S. foreign direct investment here, including through improving the investment climate in Algeria. The Algiers International Fair next June, with the United States as the country of honour, will be an opportunity to deepen all these efforts.
The Algerian-American relationship would not be as strong and stronger without the groundwork that you and your companies have laid down over the years. Some have operated here for decades, others started working in Algeria more recently, but together you support thousands of Algerian and American jobs, and families and communities with them. You invest in the local workforce, share knowledge, best practices between Algerian and American companies, and build lasting partnerships that benefit both our countries.
So for that, I want to tell everyone, sahha, thank you, and what I want to do now is jump to a quick video about the US pavilion. So let’s move on to the video.
(A video has been played.)
Thank you all. I really look forward to seeing you there.