Algerian curbs on foreign contractors now in force

* New rules published in official gazette

* Changes are part of moves towards economic nationalism

* Foreign firms seek share of $286 bln infrastructure spend

ALGIERS, Oct 28 (BestGrowthStock) – A series of measures came into
force in Algeria on Thursday that will make it harder for
international firms to win lucrative construction and
engineering contracts in the energy exporting country.

Algeria has said it will spend $286 billion on modernising
the economy over the next five years, and firms including
SNC-Lavalin (SNC.TO: ), Siemens (SIEGn.DE: ) and Alstom (ALSO.PA: )
are likely to bid for public works contracts.

The new rules, which govern how the contracts are awarded,
are part of a shift in Algeria towards greater economic
nationalism. Officials say they want to give fair opportunities
to domestic firms to compete for business.

The measures were published on Thursday in the official
gazette, which means they have now entered into force. They do
not apply to the energy sector.

Plans to introduce the new measures were originally
announced earlier this year. [ID:nLDE66A0EJ] [ID:nLDE6851Q7]
They include the following:

* A new rule requiring any foreign company bidding for a
state contract to form a joint venture with an Algerian firm.
The tender documents will include a list of potential Algerian
joint venture partners.

* A requirement that Algerian firms be considered for a
contract even if their bid is up to 25 percent more expensive
than one submitted by a foreign firm. The figure was previously
15 percent.

* Another measure states that contracts must first be put
out to a national tender — for which only Algerian firms are
eligible — and only if that fails or if no local firm is up to
the job will foreign firms be invited to bid.
(Reporting by Lamine Chikhi; Editing by Alison Williams)

Algerian curbs on foreign contractors now in force