Algeria’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and its integration into regional free trade agreements (European Union (EU) and Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA)) depend on the development of a strong national economy that can face the international competition, said Tuesday in Algiers experts.
The participants in the parliamentary day on the regional free trade agreements said that Algeria’s accession to other free trade areas require a long preparation of the national companies.
In this day initiated by the Workers’ Party (PT) and the General Union of the Algerian Workers (UGTA), some experts underlined the vulnerability of the national economy, calling for its recovery before entering into other agreements.
Algeria has huge financial capacities but does not have a strong economy that allows it to face the competition of the developed countries, said Abdelmalek Mebarek Serai, while denouncing the “huge” import bill.
In this regard, he proposed to put barriers to stem the increase in Algeria’s imports and to boost non-hydrocarbon exports.
WTO was “created by the Westerners to protect their economies,” said UGTA’s Secretary General Abdelmadjid Sidi Said.
The significant rise in Algeria’s import bill, he added, contributes to the creation and protection of 4.5 million jobs annually around the world, pointed out Sidi Said, referring to the World Bank’s data.