With about $200bn of projects planned, the three Maghreb markets covered in this report promise a substantial pipeline of potential future business opportunities for project investors, developers, contractors, consultants and manufacturers.
The diversified economies of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia are delivering some of the highest levels of economic growth in the world as they continue their recovery from the dislocation caused by the 2011 political uprisings. Economic development programmes are opening up the markets to private investment, and the governments are developing their manufacturing, tourism and services sectors to create jobs and drive new revenues.
The spectre of COVID-19 will undeniably put a dent, at least temporarily, on the pace of projects market growth in the region. The collapse in oil prices will similarly hold back growth in Algeria, but help the energy importing Morocco and Tunisia. There is also an issue around political stability particularly in Algeria where uncertainty has slowed new projects and hindered new contract awards.
Since 2008, about $13.5bn a year of project contracts have been awarded across the Maghreb region. Project contract awards witnessed both positive and negative growth alternatively for most years with peak annual level of awards reaching $25bn in 2013 and hitting a low $6.3bn in 2018 before recovering to more than $8bn last year. However, the outlook for project contract awards growth in Maghreb is positive with more than $140bn transport, construction and power awards to be awarded in the coming years.
But doing business in Maghreb comes with many challenges. And resilience, patience and flexibility are needed by anyone seeking to work in the region. Unlike the GCC, where the markets are similar to one another, Maghreb offers three highly diverse markets, each with very distinct opportunities and risks. It is vital that anyone seeking to do business in Algeria, Morocco or Tunisia invests time to understand what is on offer. I hope that this report will be a valuable asset in that research.