Egypt contractors in Algeria mull closing shop due to new bidding rules

A number of Egyptian contractors working in Algeria are seriously thinking about closing their businesses due to stringent new regulations set by the Algerian government concerning bids on national infrastructure projects, for which Algiers has allocated a total of US$250 billion.

Mokhtar Ibrahim Contractors, for one, discussed terminating its Algeria operations at a general assembly on Monday. “We decided to give it just one more year in hopes that the situation will improve,” said company president Ahmed al-Sayed.

“We haven’t won a single bid in 15 years,” he added, noting that the firm enjoyed only a 3-percent share of the total bids offered by the Algerian government.

Osama Battah, president of Hidelico–which is currently building a 220-kilowatt electricity network in Algeria at a total cost of US$30 million–agreed, noting that his company had not won a single bid in more than one year.

“All the problems began following the notorious football matches between Egypt and Algeria last year," said Battah.

Relations between the two Arab countries were badly strained in the wake of two highly charged football matches between their national teams during an African Cup tournament in November 2009, which led to violent clashes and mutual recriminations.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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