After Leaving Algeria Market, Spain Is Angry Because Of Losing Half A Billion Dollars
Decision of the Algerian government to include 851 products in the list of products that are banned from the importation aroused great resentment among the Spanish authorities, which exploited the opportunity of the Algerian-Spanish business forum to discuss the problem with the Algerian authorities.
Although the Prime Minister, Ahmed Ouyahia, confirmed during a press conference that was held at the end of the meeting that the Spanish understood the situation, his counterpart, Mariano Rajoy, reiterated that the measures that were taken by the Algerian authorities regarding the regulation of foreign trade “do not appeal to them”, and announced that the trade exchange between the two countries fell by 11% because of this list, which is equivalent to half a billion dollars, and asked for facilities from the Algerian authorities to turn these exchanges into investments, but the Minister of Industry and Mines, Yousef Yousfi, said that Algeria adopted new measures to improve the business environment and give opportunities for foreign companies to invest flexibly within its soil.
Algeria Industry and Mines Minister said in his opening speech that Algeria’s hard currency savings were halved due to the oil crisis, which required the government to adopt special measures to rationalize expenditures and adjust the country’s financial balances, diversify the economy and seek new resources instead of oil, and to work on the rehabilitation of the textile, agriculture, technology, mechanics and automotive installation sectors.
Yousfi asserted that a number of these sectors achieved self-sufficiency and reached the stage of export, while the rest of the branches are moving towards this goal during the next phase.
He reiterated the importance of the partnership between Algeria and Spain, which is the fifth trader with Algeria, and the third customer with the volume of trade exchanges worth 7 billion dollars during the past year, and counted 60 Spanish projects in Algeria and 450 Spanish companies that are operating in the national market, calling on Spanish businessmen to invest in Algeria through the signing of partnerships with small and medium enterprises, and mentioned in this context the reforms that were undertaken by Algeria in the field of laws that are regulating investment and improving the business climate.
For her part, the Spanish Secretary of State for Trade, Maria Luisa Poncela expressed concern and alarm of her country from the list of 851 products that are listed on the black list of products that are banned from import in Algeria, as the percentage of trade between the two countries declined by 11%, and estimated exports of Spain to Algeria by 4. $ 6 billion and imports by $ 2.4 billion, which represent 95% of which are hydrocarbons, and she spoke of a “modest” growth rate of 3% in the country, which it will raise by looking for new markets, confirming Algeria’s importance for the Spanish Kingdom.
The same official counted 135,000 exports operations to Algeria during 2017, topped by iron products, foodstuffs, plastics, ceramics and mechanical industries, and investments worth only 3.6 million euros, while revealing the creation of 3,600 jobs by Spanish dealers.
The meeting ended with the establishment of a joint business council between the two countries and the signing of 8 partnership agreements.