ALGERIA. South Korea has the means to help Algeria boost and diversify its economy, Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci said on Wednesday during a visit by a large government and business delegation.
South Korea's Deputy Economy Minister, Kim Young Hak, was leading the team of some 70 businessmen Seoul visiting the north African nation to explore further openings for cooperation.
South Korea "possesses the means and determination to enable Algeria to bring about the diversification of its economy," which is dependent mainly on oil and gas exports, Medelci said after talks with Kim, according to the APS news agency.
Algeria's Minister for Industry and Investment Promotion, Hamid Temmar, who co-chaired a meeting, said the two countries can "head towards a technological partnership notably in the sectors of electronics, mechanical engineering and petrochemicals."
Temmar also gave the automobile industry as an example and stated that with suitable partnership agreements, Algeria can "go beyond being an assembly site" to develop its own motor industry.
Kim said that his team was "not here to make a fast, easy profit, but for mutually advantageous relations consisting of technology transfer in the domains where South Korea has expertise."
He cited information technology and the construction of industrial plants as examples, while experts who attended the talks added a ship repair industry and the development of fishing ports to a list of joint ventures, according to APS.
South Korea is already highly active in Algeria. Late in 2008, the Algerian private company Cevital and Samsung began building a factory to manufacture products of South Korean origin at Setif, 300 kilometres (185 miles) east of Algiers.
At the same time, Naftec, a subsidiary of the Algerian oil group Sonatrach, and the South Korean consortium Hyundai Engineering and Construction signed a contract to rebuild a refinery at Arzew near the western city of Oran.