Qatar and Algeria signed in Algiers on Saturday a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the construction of an iron and steel factory in the industrial area of Bellara in Jijel state with a production capacity of 5 million tonnes per year. The MoU was signed by the Minister of Economy and Finance H E Yousuf Hussein Kamal and Algerian Minister of Industry, SME and Investment Promotion Mohamed Benmeradi. Following the signing of the MoU, Yousuf Hussein said that the Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani attaches a special importance to the project which will produce and market steel in Algeria, noting that Qatar considers the signing of the deal as new push for the relations between the two countries. “We can say that the countdown for the launch of the factory and the production of its first piece of steel has begun,” the Minister said and added “as of this moment we have 24 months or a maximum of 30 months to see the factory’s production offered in the Algerian market. We have other investment interests in Algeria, including the establishment of private car plant project under the German Volkswagen trademark, and we are working to realize this according to a tripartite partnership between Qatar, Algeria and the German car manufacturer”.