A delegation of Algerian companies led by the World Trade Center Algiers in partnership with the Société Générale bank carried out a trade mission from July 8 to 10 to the Ivorian capital Abidjan, in order to explore the commercial opportunities offered by the two country.
“It is a kind of African Road Show that WTC Algiers has just launched with Société Générale with the aim of connecting French bank clients to members of WTC Algiers, in more than 17 African countries, Abidjan n 'being only the first step,' said Ahmed Tibaoui, general manager of WTC Algiers, who led the delegation, during a meeting organized last Wednesday. This meeting, which brought together members of the two partners, some of whom had traveled to Côte d'Ivoire, made it possible to take stock of this business trip and to explain to Algerian companies both the great potential offered by the African market than the great potential enjoyed by Algerian products to position themselves on this market.
The participating companies, twelve in number, carry out activities in four main sectors, namely the pharmaceutical industry, construction, new technologies and energy. Mr. Tibaoui described this business trip as "positive", insofar as members of WTC Algiers were also able to meet Société Générale customers who explained to them the payment guarantees offered by the bank, as well as all the procedure and the support it provides them. In fact, the two partners of the trade mission each provide the other with the benefit of their customer network.
The representatives of the companies that made this business trip testified, for their part, to their first experience. They say they had good contacts during B2B meetings and seemed optimistic about the possibility of closing deals. Some, including Bomare Company, have been exporting to Europe for ten years already and intend to do the same on the African market, their products having nothing to envy to those of other countries.
On this point, Mr. Tibaoui acknowledged that the West African market is difficult to penetrate, because of the strong competition there, in particular that of the neighbors of the West who are strongly present, but also the Chinese, the Turks, without forgetting the Lebanese who have been well established in Côte d'Ivoire for two or three generations.
But the most important thing, according to the CEO of WTC Algiers, “is that the Ivorian market is very opportune, because it opens the door to other ECOWAS countries, while waiting for the African Free Trade Area (ZLEC ) can be operational”. Aware of the trade mission, meetings were organized for the participants with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Côte d'Ivoire, the Lebanese Chamber of Côte d'Ivoire, the CGECI, which is the employers' association of Côte d'Ivoire. Ivoire, as well as with the Ministers of Health and Infrastructure.
Subsequently, B2B meetings were organised, in partnership with Société Générale Abidjan, with local distributors, all clients of the French bank. Soraya Kaci, manager at the commercial and network level of Societe Generale Algeria (SGA), took the floor to explain the role played by the bank in this kind of mission.
"The major problem encountered by Algerian companies is the lack of banking support to Africa due to the absence of Algerian banks in Africa", she underlined. “It is for this reason that SGA, backed by its experts and professions, the support of the Societe Generale group and its most extensive network in Africa, offers support and innovative services that allow the Algerian exporter to benefit from a reliable customer network, an accelerated processing circuit and secure payment,” she said. After this first mission which was described as “positive”, the WTC Algiers intends to repeat it by organizing other trade missions in other African countries.