Algeria’s accession to WTO delayed by strategic choices, not bureaucratic reasons

December 6th, 2018

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APS : Wednesday, 05 December 2018

ALGIERS- minister of Trade affirmed Tuesday, in Algiers, that Algeria’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) is delayed by strategic economic choices of the Algerian State and not by bureaucratic reasons,
citing the support measures to national exports and the customs duties to protect the national product.
“WTO examines the economic system of any State before accepting its accession and each State must follow the Organization’s rules during negotiations, which requires too much time all the more since the Algerian side is getting ready to defend its interests during these negotiations,” said Djellab in a reply to the members of the Finance and Budget Committee of the People’s National Assembly, chaired by Toufik Torche, in the presence of Minister of Relations with the Parliament Mahdjoub Bedda, as part of the examination of the budget regulation bill 2016.
In a reply to questions of the committee’s members, the minister said that “WTO requires for example reducing customs duties to very low rates and limiting support to exports, while Algeria imposes customs duties to protect its national product from foreign competition to enable the national product to access foreign markets.”
“Algeria’s delay to join WTO is related to the Algerian State’s strategic options, notably in terms of encouraging national exports and protecting local products,” said Djellab who denied, in this regard, the existence of any bureaucratic issue.
He underlined his sector’s strategy which considers export file as a main national priority, adding that “the objective is to finance all or a part of imports by national exports and not by drawing on the oil revenues.”
The minister welcomed the measures taken to curb imports which dropped, according to him, from USD58 billion in 2015 to USD45 billion in 2018.
The priority is currently focused on meeting the national needs through the local production and the exportation of products to other countries, said Djalleb, hence the organization recently by his sector of economic events in several African and Arab countries in order to promote national products in foreign markets.