In the midst of the financial crisis, Kirchner's tour is aimed at "reinforcing the south-south relationship between the two developing countries that will play a key role in future business and financial exchanges", Jorge Taiana, the Argentinian foreign minister, said.

At least 70 Argentinian business people will also attend talks in the Algerian capital, which are being called the "financial week".

"Buenos Aires hopes to continue civil nuclear co-operation with Algeria," Bibiana Jones, Argentina's ambassador to Algeria, said.

Algeria's official news agency says a large phosphate export deal had been signed on the eve of Fernandez's visit and her meeting with Bouteflika.

The talks are expected to focus on the agricultural sector and medicine, among a range of other areas, an Argentinian source said.

Argentina's exports to Algeria have been valued at nearly $900m, compared to $765m in 2007. Algerian exports to Argentina were worth $95m in 2007.