Algeria, a major player for the stability of the Euro-Mediterranean

According to the official Algerian News Agency APS, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini will visit Algeria this week for bilateral consultations that are to include the European New Policy (ENP), and promote a new dynamic in the bilateral relations, likely to reflect effectively the strategic links between both parties through mutual concrete and balanced interests. Thus the ENP reinforces the notion of the role of Algeria, a major player for the stability of the Euro-Mediterranean and North Africa. The ongoing negotiations on the free trade agreement, according to information gathered from the EU, insist on a win / win partnership for shared prosperity,and subject to Europe no longer considering Algeria as a market and  Algeria  deepening its structural reforms, the agreement framework would likely be the same. (1)
Federica Mogherini of the EU

It would be for Algeria, as guarantor of stability in the region, to encourage the development of freedoms in all areas, political, economic, social and cultural therefore set up mechanisms of the rule of law and democratization at the internal level in order to achieve sustainable development for its people.

On the international political situation, Algeria is invited by the Union European to become a member of the Conventions open to third countries, encouraging it to begin a dialogue on legal migration and mobility, traffic of migrants, readmission, voluntary return, regional cooperation for border management, the treatment of the mixed migrant flows and international protection of those in need and improvement of the contribution of Europe domiciled Algerian citizens to the development of Algeria.

On climate change, purpose of the international COP21 conference held in Paris in December 2015, the EU notes with satisfaction that the Algerian party submitted its national plan on climate, demonstrating its readiness to accompany the Paris Agreement. It is in this context that confronted with the depletion of its resources but commanding significant potential, the mini-meeting of the Council of Ministers of February 22nd, 2016 held that the development of renewable energy would be a strategic objective.

As far as the cooperation in security and judicial fields is concerned, this is deemed “essential” by the EU that wants to establish a “targeted and comprehensive dialogue” with Algeria, after positively noting its commitment in the process of revision of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and takes note of the informal document (‘non-paper’) developed in Algiers, whilst following with interest the dialogues that Algeria is also having with NATO and the OSCE.

It welcomed the constructive role for peace and security of Algeria within the African Union’s and supports and encourages the involvement of Algeria in instances such as the Euro-Mediterranean dialogue, including the 5 + 5 dialogue with the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA). Sharing Algeria’s concerns about the threats facing the region including the Sahel, the EU wishes to fully acknowledge whilst endorsing the mediation of Algeria and supporting its efforts to find a solution to the crisis in Mali, through development in the region as well as international cooperation in the areas covered by the new regional plan of action for the Sahel.

The same applies in the case of Libya where the EU welcomed the diplomatic initiatives undertaken by Algeria. On the Western Sahara issue, the EU supports the efforts of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and of his Personal Envoy seeking to achieve a just political solution that is lasting and mutually acceptable to all and in accordance with the resolutions of the Security Council.

Recalling that the last review of the ENP dates back to 2011 and so in view of the changes experienced by the countries in the neighbourhood since that date, it was decided to conduct a comprehensive review of the assumptions that underpin this policy, as well as its scope of application and how to use its instruments, according to a press release of the Commission. For this purpose, the EU launched a consultation on the future of the ENP on March 5th, 2015.

For Algeria, Europe must take into account, in its neighbourhood policy, its assets including that managed actively by Algeria in its fight against terrorism, regional security against organized crime and the pacification of the Sahel-Sahara southern edge through various mediation, but also of its economic assets including through the supply of Europe in gas for decades and on a strictly commercial basis.

In the Algerian context, the promotion of the movement of people, ideas, and the protection of third countries legally established Nationals in the EU, must be taken into account in the new ENP in order to contribute to the achievement of Algerian priorities with respect to the economic diversification of export promotion of non-hydrocarbon, to food security, the strengthening of human capacities institutional and political, economic and social governance.

Both vertical and horizontal Algeria/Europe cooperation must be based on a win-win partnership for shared prosperity far from any spirit of domination. Algeria in its cooperation with Europe has three main comparative advantages, namely: its effective contribution on equity on the process complex and costly peacekeeping and security in the Sahel-Sahara strip that would benefit the European neighbours in terms of fight against terrorism, organized crime and illegal migration, not to mention the economic impacts.

It is within this framework that Algeria has decided to participate in the ENP, initiated in 2004, and revised in 2009 with concrete proposals in which it has contributed with proposals in the “Green Book” of the European commission on March 4th, 2015, such as the principles of flexibility and ownership, as the basis for the new ENP. Algeria is well underway as part of cooperation offered by the revised neighbourhood policy (Europe 11443) since the latter requires more to establish a plan of action, deemed binding in Algiers, in addition to the lifting of all political conditionalities.

So Algeria is a key player in the region and any destabilization would have a negative impact on the entire Mediterranean and African region (see our interviews to the American Herald Tribune and French daily La Tribune.fr en December 2016.

The Coordinator for Counterterrorism at the US State Department, Justin Siberell recently announced that Algeria is a key partner of the United States in the area of security by referring to a new era of cooperation between the two countries.

Also, facing a world in perpetual motion, both in terms of foreign policy, in economy as well as in defence, related actions with the latest happenings in the Sahel, on the borders of Algeria, with what is happening in the Middle East, in Libya, the urgency of the strategies of adaptation and international and regional coordination would be introduced, in order to act effectively on major events. These new challenges for Algeria exceed in importance the challenges it has ever faced so far.

Called upon and solicited, Algeria legitimately queries its role, and the place or the interest of such option or this frame would hold whether it is in the Mediterranean dialogue of NATO or of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership, whether in its economic or security dimensions. Adaptation is the key to survival and pragmatism a highly appreciated modern management tool in relationships with others, Algeria whose future is in undoubtedly in the Euro-Mediterranean and African space must do with what reason and its interests command.

In summary, the future strategy of Algeria would in order to ensure its safety be to quickly lay down with a reorientation of its economic policy, as a diversified economy in the context of international values, away from the illusion of hydrocarbons eternal earnings and to carefully ponder the recent statement of the Italian Economic Development Minister, Carlo Calenda.

This last announcement, that the gas supply through pipeline contract signed between Algeria and Italy that expires in 2019 will not be renewed, giving “a deficit of 14 billion cubic meters for Italy by 2019-2020 and Italy’s gas supply will be by a long-term contract with the Netherlands by 2020, then with Norway in 2026, not to mention Russia, Iran’s re- entrance, and shortly Libya competitor of Algeria not forgetting the recent agreement of Europe – Israel for the procurement of large volumes of gas through the construction of a new pipeline.

And what will become of the future supply contracts of Algeria, all expiring between 2018 and 2019 at the time when the increase in spot markets, knowing that more than 33% of all revenues of Algeria are from natural gas making it unable to compete with Qatar, Iran and Russia, not to mention the American Shale oil/gas

 (1) study of Professor Abderrahmane Mebtoul, published in the International (IFRI Paris, France) titled “Maghreb-Europe cooperation the geostrategic challenges” , November 2011 – chapter III – “The strategy of the European Union and NATO in the face of the geo-strategic tensions in the Mediterranean”.

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11th EU and Algeria Association Council Session

Avoiding rushing to the conclusion that a total accumulated loss of $7 billion, was consequent to Algeria’s association with the European Union (EU), we must look long and hard at the amounts of each year loss. According to [ . . . ]

Avoiding rushing to the conclusion that a total accumulated loss of $7 billion, was consequent to Algeria’s association with the European Union (EU),  we must look long and hard at the amounts of each year loss. According to the Algerian Customs statistics, the shortfall in duties, as a result of the EU and Algeria Association Agreement was worth $1.27 billion in 2015 and $1.09 billion in 2016.  A 11th EU and Algeria Association Council Session will be held in Brussels on Monday March 13, 2017.

What prospects will there be at this Association Council session? 

I have recently been recipient of the latest version of the partial revision proposed by the European Union following the Algerian revisions that comforts some Algerian proposals considered being not questioning nor amending the agreement framework.

This confirms the recent statement of an Algerian Department of Foreign Affairs official to whom the document containing 21 recommendations, would no doubt revive cooperation between Algeria and the EU so as to allow both sides to develop economic relations further and place these at the center of this cooperation, to give importance to this agreement and use its huge potential in its three components, e.g.: political, economic and human aspects.

As recalled in several of my contributions and echoing my conference at the European Parliament, after some concern of the international community following some Algerian media speculating on the end of this agreement, Algerian officials were clear in their response that for Algeria, it is not question of breaking the Association Agreement but only negotiating a win-win partnership,  By the way and in addition to a good number of obvious questions, the above lowering of the Customs duties has on the other hand eased the import to consumers generally.

It will be to resolve any misunderstanding for a shared prosperity. At different occasions in both Algiers and in Brussels, the Algerian and European parties reaffirmed their common determination to enhance relations to maych their proclaimed ambitions.

The will would be to “densify” cooperation, according to the Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, who “claimed by Algeria that its evaluation process is not intended to about questioning the Agreement, but instead, to use it fully in the sense of a positive interpretation of its provisions thus allowing a re-balancing of the cooperation links,

On the European side, the talk was ‘constructive’ and bilateral relationships, in both the areas of energy as well as in the activity of business and trade, have unexplored, even if the potential were encumbered by red tape and persistent political decisions.

However, the situation in the country remains dependent on the evolution of the oil markets with sales that the country gets most of its revenues, recalling that energy cooperation, based on a specific Protocol, is at the center of the cooperation with the EU.

It is as such, that the Council of Ministers on October 6th, 2015 considered necessary to reassess the economic and commercial aspects of the Association Agreement with the EU that has not achieved the expected objectives for European investments in Algeria.

What is the evolution of trade between Algeria and Europe?  And what can Algeria export outside its hydrocarbons that make up to more than 60% of its exports to the EU and ditto to Africa in the light of the embryonic state of its productive sector.

Officially, all exports declined to $28.88 in 2016 against $34.66 billion in 2015, or a fall of 16.7% whereas non-oil, of which more than 50% are derivatives of hydrocarbons fell to $2.06 billion in 2016 against $2.58 billion in 2015 (20,1%).

As for imports, these have also declined but at a lower rate to $46.72 billion in 2016 from $51.7 billion in 2015, down 9.62% giving a deficit in the balance of trade of about $18 billion; the amount of which there is need to add services and legal capital transfers.  The balance of payments is the unique reference between 2014 and 2016.

It is a matter of deepening the reforms.

For Algeria, negotiating from a balanced position, would involve it changing its bureaucratic mentality. In this 21st century, it is the role of the State to regulate, and to reconcile economic efficiency with a deep social justice, investors and operators alike are driven by the logic of profit.

Concerns being certainly legitimate because tariff cuts are a shortfall in the short-term depending on sources between $1.5 and 2 billion a year as a result of the Tariff Relief, but we ought to think in terms of dynamic comparative advantages in the medium term.

Invoking the mono exporter situation of Algeria is no road holding; the majority of OPEC countries are members of the WTO. The great challenge for Algeria is to accelerate all comprehensive reforms for comparative benefit from inclusion in the international division of labour.

To benefit from the positive effects of the Agreement with Europe as much as from a possible accession to the WTO, a first clean-up of the Algerian economy would be necessary. The brakes to the overall reform are due to the fact of moving authority segments around that could explain the decline of the productive fabric. Any operational analysis should connect the advance or the brake to the reforms by analyzing the strategies of social presence; Government policy forces lying fluttered between two conflicting social forces. These are the rentier logic supported by proponents of import (actually only 100 controlling more than 80% of the total) and the informal sphere that is unfortunately dominant and the minority entrepreneurial logic.

This would explain that Algeria is in an interminable transition, neither a competitive social market economy nor an administered economy. The progress of reforms being inversely proportionate to the oil price and the value of the Dollar; reforms can only tentatively be made with inconsistency when only the price decline.

This explains also that despite successive devaluation of the Dinar, DZD5 in 1974 for a Dollar to DZD110 / Dollar in 2016 at the official rate, it has been impossible to boost non-oil exports showing that all blocking was and still is systemic related.

It is that 80% directly and indirectly from the growth rate of GDP mainly from Building and Infrastructure development and so is employment rate, that are all pulled by public expenditure coming from oil revenues that gives public or private wealth creation enterprise (often in debt to state banks) a negligible part.

Infrastructure being only a means, the unfortunate recent experience of Spain that bet on this segment must be carefully meditated by the Algerian authorities. Also, in order to attract investment, the latter should implement regulatory mechanisms to attract promising investors, avoiding periodic changes in legal frameworks, bureaucratic administrative actions not transparent source of demobilization and potentially scaring investors whether they are local or foreign.

In short, unlike some pessimistic forecasts predicting a worst-case scenario for the year 2020, Algeria, subject to good governance and a reorientation of its economic policy, has the ambition of its choice. For this reform of structures must intend to encourage creative added value investing through the overhaul of the system property, financial, customs, tax administration, and a new social regulation for the benefit of the poorest. There is urgency to specific objectives and a new institutional organization in order to give more coherence and visibility; otherwise we will always see the extension of the informal sphere to ever widening circles.

The macroeconomic framework relatively stabilized in Algeria would be fleeting without deep structural reforms, especially with the drop in the price of hydrocarbons, and the risk of exhaustion of the Regulatory Fund of foreign exchange reserves.

Paris, March 12, 2017 

16 events that will shape 2017

AMEinfo came up with this formidable vision of next year titled 16 events that will shape 2017; we could not help but reproduce it here all for the benefit of our readers.  All comments are welcome but we would advise to address direct to AMEinfo with nevertheless a copy to MENA-Forum.  

AMEinfo, is a well known and reliable middle east online medium of information.

Historically as per Wikipedia, AMEinfo.com was initially Arabian Modern Equipment Est., incorporated in Abu Dhabi, in February 1993 by Saif Al-Suwaidi and Klaus Lovgreen. The first version of the AME Info CD-ROM database of 125,000 companies was developed and compiled late 1996 and sold some 10,000 copies.  

The listing of the events as proposed by AMEinfo summed up thus.

  •  Many events of 2016 will have repercussions spilling over into 2017
  •  Positive impacts include Saudi Vision 2030, OPEC deal
  •  The fallout of Trump’s presidency, JASTA law, Italy referendum, etc. remain to be seen

The year 2016 was eventful, to say the least, with the world shaken by several momentous events whose repercussions will spill over into 2017.

Here are 16 events of 2016 that will most probably shape the coming year:

 

Saudi Vision 2030

This vision, announced in April, is one of the top economic highlights of 2016. Its repercussions are yet to be experienced throughout 2017 and beyond. Some of the biggest follow ups to this event are the Saudi Aramco IPO, expected to take place in 2018, privatising Football Clubs in the kingdom and its green card plan.

 

Trump as president of the United States

President-elect Donald Trump filling posts for his administration, getting ready to officially take office in January. This is when his foreign policy is expected to take its final shape and impact the whole world, starting with countries of the Americas, passing through Europe and the Middle East and reaching Asia.  

(Donald Trump wins US elections 2016: What it means for MENA)

 

Brexit

The United Kingdom voted to exit the European Union last June through a national referendum. Since then, the country underwent several months of economic chaos that it tried to keep under control, especially because it had not yet left the European Union. The chaos is expected to continue until the announcement of an exit plan, expected in March 2017.  

(Brexit: Who’s next?)

 

JASTA

The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act is a law passed by the United States Congress, allowing survivors and relatives of victims of terrorist attacks to pursue cases against foreign governments in the US federal court. The bill raised tensions with Saudi Arabia – when the bill was introduced, Saudi Arabia threatened to sell up to $750 billion in United States Treasury securities and other US assets if the bill is passed. Saudi Arabia is still lobbying the US over the law.

 

Egypt’s floating of the pound

Egypt’s central bank floated the pound currency in November, devaluing by 32.3 percent to an initial guidance level of EGP 13 to the dollar and hiking interest rates by three per cent to rebalance currency markets following weeks of turbulence. According to many observers, Egypt’s floating of its currency comes in a bid to attract more investors to the country.

 

China’s AIIB development bank

China launched the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a new international development bank, seen as a rival to the current, US-led World Bank. Countries such as Australia, Britain, Germany, Italy, the Philippines and South Korea agreed to join the AIIB, recognising China’s growing economic strength.

 

Google Alphabet

Last August, Google announced creating a new public holding company, Alphabet. Alphabet become the mother of a collection of companies, including Google, which includes the search engine, YouTube and other apps; Google X, the Alphabet arm working on big breakthroughs in the industry; Google Capital, the investment arm; as well as Fiber, Calcio, Nest  and Google Ventures.

 

Panama papers leak

Roughly 11.5 million documents were leaked in April, detailing financial and attorney-client information for hundreds of thousands of offshore entities. The documents contained personal financial information about famous, wealthy individuals and public officials.

The documents were created by a law firm in Panama, with some dating back to the 1970s.

 

Iran nuclear deal: lifting of sanctions

Although the framework of this agreement was announced in 2015, economic sanctions started to lift only in January 2016. The year saw the beginning of Iran’s return to international markets and more is expected for 2017 as the country has not yet made a full comeback.

 

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones, released this year, started to heat up and explode, causing some injuries in different markets around the world and killing the model altogether. This created massive chaos for the South-Korean manufacturer, which withdrew all units from the markets and started a gruelling investigation into the rootcause of the issue.

 

King Salman bin Abdel Aziz Bridge

Last April, Saudi Arabia and Egypt agreed to build a bridge over the Red Sea, linking the two countries together. This was seen as a historic move highlighting the excellent relationship between the allies. The bridge would be called “King Salman bin Abdel Aziz Bridge”.

 

OPEC deal

Members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC members as well, reached their first deal since 2001, to curb levels of oil output to ease a global glut after oversupply pressured prices for more than two years. Long-term market reactions to the deal are yet to be felt and will probably be seen throughout 2017.

 

Pokémon Go

The new augmented reality game, developed by Niantic, quickly became a global phenomenon and was one of the most profitable apps of 2016, with more than 500 million downloads worldwide.

 

Italy referendum

Italy’s government, led by then-Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, held a nation-wide referendum proposing reforms and amendments to the country’s constitution. The referendum failed, leading to the resignation of Renzi, tipping the country into potential political turmoil and the rise of the populist, right-wing movement in the country.

Renzi’s resignation and the country’s instability also brought up concerns over a looming banking crisis in Italy, the third-largest national economy in the euro zone.

(Italy referendum: Step 1 to another Brexit?)

 

Fed raises interest rates

The US Federal Reserve raised interest rates, signalling a faster pace of increases in 2017, with central banks adapting to the incoming of a Donald Trump administration, which has promised to cut tax. The year 2017 will probably see the repercussion of that decision.

 

Turkey’s coup

A coup d’état was attempted in Turkey in July against state organisations including the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The failed coup was carried out by a faction of Turkey’s armed forces, who attempted to seize control of several areas in the capital of Ankara, Istanbul and elsewhere.

The coup, and other terrorist attacks, disturbed Turkey’s peace and stability and harmed its tourism industry, among others.

 

Implications of Brexit for democracy?

An article written by Dhruva Jaishankar on June 29th, 2016 for the Huffington Post has attracted our attention and we reproduce it here for our friends of the MENA region and elsewhere. The obvious interest in such article is not only that of the Brexit representing the first major casualty of the ascent of digital democracy over representative democracy but also the fundamental fact of a majority expressing itself like this time against the wishes of the elite with however the help and / or assistance of the contemporary digital media. Brexit: The first major casualty of digital democracy . . . Dhruva Jaishankar writes that with all the questions about what happens next, there’s a bigger question worth asking: What are the implications of Brexit for democracy? Arguably, Brexit represents the first major casualty of the ascent of digital democracy over representative democracy. This piece was originally posted by The Huffington Post.

An article written by Dhruva Jaishankar on June 29th, 2016 for the Huffington Post has attracted our attention and we reproduce it here for our friends of the MENA region and elsewhere.  The obvious interest in such article is not only that of the Brexit representing the first major casualty of the ascent of digital democracy over representative democracy but also the fundamental fact of a majority expressing itself like this time against the wishes of the elite with however the help and / or assistance of the contemporary digital media.

Brexit: The first major casualty of digital democracy  . . .

Dhruva Jaishankar writes that with all the questions about what happens next, there’s a bigger question worth asking: What are the implications of Brexit for democracy? Arguably, Brexit represents the first major casualty of the ascent of digital democracy over representative democracy. This piece was originally posted by The Huffington Post.

In the aftermath of the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union, we are left with more questions than answers. What kind of relationship will the UK now forge with the EU, and how will that affect economic relations and migration? Will Scotland and Northern Ireland opt to leave? What is the future of British politics, given turbulence within both the Conservative and Labour Parties? Will a successful Brexit set a precedent for other EU members — perhaps even some eurozone members– to leave the union? What are the long-term economic consequences of the resulting uncertainty? Will Brexit even happen at all, given the absence of a clear post-referendum plan, the apparent unwillingness of ‘Leave’ campaign leaders to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, and the fact that the referendum was advisory and non-binding? Answers to these questions will make themselves evident in the coming weeks, months, and years.

[D]igital democracy… has contributed to polarization, gridlock, dissatisfaction and misinformation.

But there’s a bigger question worth asking: What are the implications of Brexit for democracy? Arguably, Brexit represents the first major casualty of the ascent of digital democracy over representative democracy. This claim deserves an explanation.

When historians look back at the world of the past 25 years, they will likely associate it not with terrorism or growing inequality but with the twin phenomena of the “rise of the rest” (particularly China and India) and of globalization. Globalization involves the easier, faster and cheaper flow of goods, people, capital and information. One big enabler of globalization is the internet, the global network of networks that allows billions of people to cheaply and easily access enormous amounts of digital information. The rise of service and high-technology industries, trade liberalization, container shipping, and the development of financial markets have also been important enablers, as is the increased ease and lower cost of travel, particularly by air.

Many technology optimists have assumed that globalization would lead to the democratization of information and decision-making, and also greater cosmopolitanism. Citizens would be better informed, less likely to be silenced, and able to communicate their views more effectively to their leaders. They would also have greater empathy and understanding of other peoples the more they lived next to them, visited their countries, read their news, communicated, and did business with them. Or so the thinking went.

Read more on Brookings.edu

Europe Algeria Association Free Trade Agreement

After some real concern of the international community and many Algerian operators, according to information sourced from the most senior level of the Algerian authorities, “Algeria having always due respect for its international commitments, will comply with the rules governing international trade providing for quantitative restrictions (licenses) when a member country of the balance of payment have difficulties.

According to the European Commission, The EU-Algeria Association Agreement was signed in April 2002 and entered into force in September 2005.  This Europe Algeria Association Free Trade Agreement sets out a framework for the EU-Algeria relationship in all areas including trade.

In 2012 Algeria and the EU launched consultations on an Action Plan that will set out anticipated actions and priorities over a five-year timeframe.  It will serve to support co-operation and further exploit the potential of the Association Agreement.

Algeria is in the process of accession to the WTO, with strong support from the European Union.

An interview of Dr. A. Mebtoul, an Algerian university professor by Radio France Internationale (RFI) was broadcast on Saturday 27 February 2016 and following that an essay in French of the professor was published on RFI’s website. 

Here is the English translation of that article.

No failure in the Free Trade Agreement of the Europe – Algeria Association

By Professor Dr Abderrahmane Mebtoul, ademmebtoul@gmail.com

  1. After some real concern of the international community and many Algerian operators, according to information sourced from the most senior level of the Algerian authorities,  “Algeria having always due respect for its international commitments, will comply with the rules governing international trade providing for quantitative restrictions (licenses) when a member country of the balance of payment have difficulties.  There is no question of breaking the Association Agreement which binds it to Europe, its main economic partner is in negotiations for a win / win partnership.  “The latest measures come within the framework of strict respect of the commitments which the Algerian government signed with Sovereignty. According to reports invalidations, deductibles considered “obsolete are those that focus exclusively on products listed in both open mind” of import licenses. It is therefore of vehicles, concrete reinforcing bars, cement and some agricultural and food products. Other products under the franchise of duty are not concerned. ” Algeria is a key partner of the international community with the geopolitical tensions in the region. There is no question that it is isolated as the postulate some Algerian currents loss and bad publicity seeking to destabilize Algeria. According to information collected in from many European and US officials, the stability of Algeria affects the stability of both the Mediterranean that Africa
  2. The information I gathered from the Algerian government, provide the following information to avoid confusion on the part of the rent of tenants misleading as the Algerian population yardstick weak economic culture as local operators that foreigners are not the terms of the old import licenses. Algeria intends to respect its international commitments and comply with the rules governing international trade, including those of the WTO provide for quantitative restrictions when a member country of the balance of payment difficulties.
  • The Freedom of trade and industry, non-public distinction private sector is the foundation of economic and commercial policy of the Algerian government, consecrated by all the provisions of Algerian law provisions contained in the new Algerian constitution
  • In this context, this legislation along the lines of what is provided by the legislation of several open economies in Europe and elsewhere, the possibility to use in specific and predefined cases, transition to upgrade the productive, import licenses or export neutral in application and administered in a fair and equitable way to handle exceptions to the freedom of trade and in accordance with WTO rules.
  • The first law reaffirms the freedom to import and export products, without prejudice to the rules on public morality, safety and public order, the protection of human health, as well as ‘the preservation of the environment and the historical and cultural heritage.
  • The grounds for establishment of import or export licenses including the restriction of trade in certain exhaustible natural resources guarantee for the domestic industry to the availability of processing locally produced raw materials, supply market products that would be felt shortage and safeguarding the external financial balances of the country. “
  • It’s In this context that the government amended the Ordinance 03-04 of 19 July 2003 on general rules applicable to the importation and exportation of goods, amendments to enable to upgrade the legislation in accordance the rules of an open economy.
  • Unlike the restrictive licensing system previously applied in the 1970s, for importation, these licenses are defined as administrative procedures in the WTO rules and are designed to ensure better quality and product safety to protect human health, animal and plant.
  • Reference to the WTO, the texts stipulate that import licenses are administrative procedures requiring, as a condition for importing goods, the presentation to the competent administrative body of an application that is distinct documents required for customs purposes, the Government states that this type of license does not result in a restriction or distortion of imports.
  • Is the control by the administration only concerns aspects of quality and compliance and not the commercial aspects, to ensure the fairness of commercial transactions, and, whether among the community of traders themselves when making their trade or between the retailer and the consumer while the old regime was to the distribution of an amount of foreign currency on importers’ (end of the match).
  • It has never been said that Algeria breaks the Association as it will continue to negotiate its accession to the WTO Agreement, membership contained in the program of the President of the Republic. But that membership can only be to the detriment of the best interests of Algeria intends to benefit from the Doha Agreements providing a transition period for the third world countries.
  1. In summary, Algeria, according to our sources, while preserving its own interests as any country intends to comply with international agreements, including the Association Agreement with Europe, continue negotiations with the WTO representing 97% of world trade, 85% of the world population, with the accession of Russia and Saudi Arabia in addition to China. There is no question of the Agreement that would discredit the image of Algeria internationally, and that contrary to tendentious statements. In my view the debate lies elsewhere: how the fall of hydrocarbon prices deepen structural reforms to pension off a strategy, and there the contradictory debate is useful, the person has the monopoly of truth. In the twenty-first century, economic battles are won through good governance and enhancement of knowledge involving a more citizen participation within a rule of law. The Algeria to avoid destabilizing must begin urgently genuine structural reforms assuming the language of truth, the moralization of society and a minimum of social consensus. The recovery is possible.  Algeria without chauvinism, has all the potential to become a pivotal country in the region, is its natural place in the Euro-Mediterranean region, while not forgetting the African continent, strengthening integration of the Maghreb being strategic if we want to attract investors interested not by micro-states but by large space countries.  For further details, refer to my interview with Radio France Internationale (RFI) Paris, France – broadcast on Saturday 27 February 2016 and titled “Faced with the fall of hydrocarbon prices, outlook for the Algerian economy.”