Vietnam-Algeria: Negotiations underway for 2nd phase of oil & gas joint venture

November 10, 2022

Algiers (VNA) – A delegation of the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (Petrovietnam) led by Chairman of Members’ Council Hoang Quoc Vuong had a working session on November 7 with representatives from relevant agencies of Algeria to speed up the implementation of the second phase of a tripartite joint venture project at the Bir Seba field in Algeria.

The joint venture of Petrovietnam Exploration Production Corporation (PVEP) under Petrovietnam, Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production Public Company and the national state-owned oil company of Algeria – Sonatrach Group was established in 2009 with total investment of 1.26 billion USD.

In the first phase, the Bir Seba field produces 20,000 barrels of oil per day. Since welcoming the first oil flow in August 2015, the project has pumped a total of 44.27 million barrels. It is considered a bright spot in the bilateral cooperation between Vietnam and Algeria.

As for the second stage of the joint venture project, it is expected to welcome the first oil flow in the first quarter of 2016, also with a design capacity of 20,000 barrels per day.

On the occasion, Minister of Energy and Mines Mohamed Arkab held a meeting with the Vietnamese delegation, during which both sides reviewed the oil and gas partnership between Sonatrach and Petrovietnam, and assessed the prospects for expanding cooperation between the two sides in the coming time.

Mr. Arkab invited the Vietnamese firm to further invest in the oil and gas industry in Algeria, and set up more win-win partnerships.

For his part, Vuong expressed his satisfaction with the quality of the Petrovietnam – Sonatrach cooperation, while showing interest in increasing investment in Algeria, especially in existing oil and gas projects as well as new ones.

Sneak peek into Algerian-Vietnamese relations:

Algeria and China have traditionally strong relations, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2022. To mark this special and festive occasion, the Vietnamese Mission in Algeria organized on October 29 in Algiers, a reception at the headquarters of the Embassy with the presence of high-ranked officials, diplomats and Ambassadors accredited to Algeria, as well as journalists and the Vietnamese community established in Algeria.

Back in history, Vietnam officially recognised the Provisional Government of the Republic of Algeria on September 26, 1958, just a week after Algeria proclaimed its independence.

Diplomatic relations were then fully established in 1962, before being extended to areas of economic, technical, and financial co-operation. From then, relations continued to grow. Driven by the aspiration for independence, freedom and happiness, the peoples of Vietnam and Algeria, under the judicious leadership of their leaders of different generations, have united to further strengthen the friendship between the two friendly countries.

Algeria hosted several senior Vietnamese leaders, such as; General Vo Nguyên Giap, President of the Council of State Vo Chi Công, Presidents Trân Duc Luong and Nguyên Minh Triêt, Vice President Nguyên Thi Binh, and Prime Ministers Pham Van Dong, Phan Van Khai, and Nguyên Tân Dung.

For its part, Vietnam hosted Presidents Houari Boumediene, Liamine Zeroual, and Abdelaziz Bouteflika and many other senior government and National Assembly leaders of Algeria.

Vietnam and Algeria have always respected the fundamental principles of the United Nations Charter and international law, such as; the principle of respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations, as well as the settlement of disputes through measures under international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), in accordance with the aspirations of the peoples.

The convergence of views of the two friendly countries has actively contributed to joint peacebuilding and development efforts at the regional and global levels.

Vietnam and Algeria coordinate and support each other in multilateral forums. In 2022, both countries were elected to the Human Rights Council for the 2023-2025 term.

In recent years, despite the Covid-19 epidemic, the two countries have still made efforts to maintain their exchanges by organizing many activities, such as; telephone calls at the level of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (May 2020 ), the holding of the Political Consultation between the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs (May 2022).

Recently, it was agreed on the organisation of the 12th meeting of the Joint Committee in Hanoi in next December to create a fresh impetus for bilateral relations as declared by the Algerian Ambassador to Vietnam Boubazine Abdelhamid.

Noting that trade turnover between both sides reached US$262.54 million in 2021, with the North African nation’s imports amounting to US$231.57 million and its exports to Vietnam standing at only US$30.97 million. It stood at $140 million in the first half of 2022. Coffee tops Vietnam’s exports to Algeria, accounting for 65% of the total export value. Other main export items are rice (16%), spices, such as; pepper bean and cinnamon, cashew nuts, aquatic products, footwear, raw aluminum and aluminum alloys, and printing machinery. Algeria, for its part, exports scrap paper, poultry meat, medicines and rubber products to Vietnam.

Algeria committed to enhancing economic cooperation and trade with Vietnam:

The Acting Director General of the National Agency for the Promotion of Foreign Trade (ALGEX), Abdelatif El Houari said at a virtual conference organised, last September, by the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and the National Agency for the Promotion of Foreign Trade (ALGEX) to promote Vietnam-Algeria trade and business cooperation, that “Algeria is committed to enhancing economic cooperation and trade with Vietnam by establishing a strategic partnership mechanism capable of fully exploiting the economic potentials of the two countries on the ground of mutual benefit.

Cultural diplomacy helps strengthen bilateral relations:

Cultural diplomacy has truly become a bridge connecting Vietnamese and Algerian cultures, helping the two countries share cultural values based on respect for differences.

In Algeria, there are 2 streets bearing the name of President Ho Chi Minh, in the capital Algiers and in the city of Oran.

Every year, on the occasion of Uncle Ho’s birthday on May 19, the Embassy organizes many significant activities, such as; the laying of flowers in Ho Chi Minh Street, the organization of seminars, exchanges on history, and celebration of Uncle Ho’s contributions to the struggle for national independence.

President Ho Chi Minh, General Vo Nguyen Giap, Vice President Nguyên Thi Binh have become heroic symbols for the Algerian people.

Many activities celebrating the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Algeria:

Since mid-2022, the Vietnamese Embassy has organized the screening of a film on President Ho Chi Minh and the Vietnamese Resistance War, an exhibition of paintings, photos and historical documents on the relations between Vietnam and Algeria, the Vovinam Prize, the presentation of Vietnamese gastronomy and crafts to the Algerian public.

In the coming times, the Embassy will organize performances of musical instruments and national costumes with the participation of Vietnamese artists, the screening of documentaries on Vietnam on Algerian television and a traditional martial arts tournament.

On the other hand, the Algerian Embassy in Hanoi is set to launch a broad range of cultural activities aimed at celebrating this major political event.

Also, to mark this festive occasion, the Algerian Ambassador to Vietnam Boubazine Abdelhamid had an interview with the Vietnamese press, during which he hailed the strong time-honoured friendship ties binding Algeria and Vietnam, which were forged during the years of arduous wars against colonial powers and foreign occupation. He also highly appreciated the socio-economic achievements that the Vietnamese side has recorded over recent years.

As a foreign diplomat in Vietnam, Ambassador Abdelhamid said he loves the nation very much and emphasized that Vietnam is a prime example of a successful combination of tradition and modernity.

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