19. Dezember 2020
Trade Agreement Algeria
The upcoming global strategy with Africa and the 2020 summit between the African Union and the EU should make climate and key issues in relations between the two continents. In particular, the Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs will aim to harness Africa`s potential to make rapid progress towards a green and circular economy, including sustainable energy and food systems and smart cities. The EU will strengthen its commitment to Africa for the wider use and trade of sustainable and clean energy. Renewable energy and energy efficiency, for example for clean cooking, are the key to bridging the gap between gaps in access to energy in Africa, while reducing CO2 emissions. The EU will launch a NaturAfrica initiative to combat biodiversity loss by creating a network of protected areas for the protection of flora and fauna and providing opportunities for local people in green areas. Ali Bey Nasri, president of the Algerian Exporters Association, said: „The agreement was poorly negotiated from the beginning.“ Asked by AFP about the deadline for the implementation of the trade agreement, the Ministry of Commerce spoke vaguely. Algiers has repeatedly called for renegotiating the terms of the agreement. Algeria has asked the EU to freeze a free trade agreement that is expected to be signed this year because of the length of customs reforms, an EU official said. The free trade area is „a disaster for the economy.“ The EU and Algeria meet regularly on committees to discuss issues and best practices in implementing the agreement. Bilateral trade between the two partners is mainly based on Algerian oil and gas products. Algeria is the EU`s third largest natural gas supplier after Russia and Norway.
The Association Agreement between the EU and Algeria was signed in April 2002 and came into force in September 2005. This agreement establishes a framework for EU-Algeria relations in all areas, including trade. Partnership priorities in the EU-Algeria relations between 2020 focus on a wide range of areas, including trade and access to the European single market, energy, the environment and sustainable development. In 2002, Algeria signed an association agreement with the European Union in Valencia (Spain). It came into force on September 1, 2005. The trade agreement is part of the EU`s `Barcelona Process`, which aims to transform the Mediterranean basin into a vast free trade area under the EU`s dominant influence by 2017. (The European Free Trade Association – Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland – also wants a free trade agreement with Algeria.) President Abdelmadjid Tebboune asked Kamel Rezig „to make an assessment… the issue of the Association Agreement with the EU, which must be given special attention to defend our interests in favour of balanced relations,“ says an official statement issued late on Sunday 9 August. In December 2008, the government announced its decision to fully join the GAFTA on January 2, 2009, which drew the ire of the economy. Business leaders felt incoherent and had to lose the influx of cheaper goods from other Arab countries. Some have even threatened to outsource production to other GAFTA countries and export it to Algeria instead of producing it in Algeria. Algeria is currently in the process of joining the World Trade Organization.
Politicians and business leaders have strongly criticized the proposal for full implementation of the free trade area and see it largely at the expense of Algeria.