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    L’Algérie pourrait rejoindre l’OMC en 2011 ? (rire)

    ALGIERS, May 19 (KUNA) -- The 10th round of negotiations on Algeria's membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) begins next month, a government official said Friday.

    Minister of Commerce Al-Hashemi Jaboub told reporters Algeria had met all requirements and cancelled some laws in line with WTO rules.

    Jaboub said Algeria was awaiting the positions of the WTO members.

    The fact Algeria had made many WTO-compatible changes allowing it to "enter WTO from the wide door," he added.

    He said the year 2006 would mark Algeria's membership in WTO following the amendments of tens of laws and establishing new ones.

    Jaboub said Algeria's partnership and association agreement with the European Union (EU), which entered force last September, would allow the North African country to deal with others within "very tough" regional and international competition.

    Algeria starts WTO accession membership June - minister

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    Algeria will launch the 10th round of its membership talks with the World Trade Organization (WTO) in June, Algerian Minister of Commerce El-Hachemi Djaaboub said on Saturday.

    Algeria has responded to more than 100 inquiries concerning its entry presented by WTO members, and also amended and abolished some domestic laws and regulations conflicting with WTO rules, Djaaboub told state radio.

    But he added that Algeria would not sacrifice principles for seeking WTO membership and accept some unrealistic conditions imposed by others.

    He also said Algeria still has to narrow its differences with some WTO members on the issue of agricultural subsidies.

    Nevertheless, Djaaboub said he was optimistic about the prospect of joining the WTO by the end of this year.

    Algeria applied for joining the WTO in 1996 and has held several rounds of talks on its membership with the WTO since 1998. As part of its efforts to join the WTO at an early date, the Algerian government has embarked on a set of reforms, including abandoning the planned economy system and implementing the opening up policy in trade.

    Source: Xinhua

    Algeria to launch new round of entry talks with WTO in June

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    Arab nations form group for WTO trade negotiations

    CAIRO: Arab countries yesterday agreed to form a grouping in the WTO in order to improve the coordination of their positions in the Doha round of trade talks, Egyptian Trade Minister Mohamed Rashid said.

    “We have an Arab group; this didn’t exist until today,” Rashid told reporters after a meeting in Cairo with several other Arab trade and industry ministers.
    He said the announcement of the new grouping would be formally handed to World Trade Organisation Director General Pascal Lamy in Geneva next week.
    The group will consist of the WTO’s 12 Arab members – Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

    Six more countries with observer status but no voting rights will be included in the consultations, Rashid said. They are Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan and Yemen.

    The 149-member WTO is officially committed to a year-end deadline for the completion of Doha round negotiations on the liberalisation of global trade, which kicked off in 2001 but talks remain deadlocked.

    “We don’t expect to be in agreement on all files,” Rashid said.

    “It may be difficult to find common ground, but there is a minimum of understanding. Previously there was no coordination, and we have to have a joint position in the WTO talks.”

    The Arab bloc will the latest of several WTO groupings giving a voice to developing countries – such as the G-20 and G-90 – in the battle with US and European trading giants.

    The US and the European Union are under pressure from developing countries to ease subsidies to agriculture and to reduce import tariffs on farm products from poor countries.

    Washington and Brussels are in turn pressing emerging economies to make their markets more accessible to industrial goods and services.

    “We are coming a bit late in the negotiations but it doesn’t mean we will have no influence,” Rashid said.

    “One of the most important things (for Arab countries) is keeping our preferential treatments. We feel that this treatment is helping our development,” he added.

    Arab nations form group for WTO trade negotiations

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    WTO accession negotiations:

    Algeria is waiting for a WTO correspondence from in order to set the 10th negotiations round in view of its accession to the organization, a trade ministry official told El Khabar. The source added that this round may be the last one in negotiations process since Algeria answered all USA, EU and Australia’s questions addressed last May.

    According to reliable sources president gave instructions to trade ministry El Hashmi Djaboub in view of speeding up Algeria’s accession to the WTO as well as the Arab free exchange zone during his last meeting with him in the framework of government staff activity evaluation by the president. In this respect, the ongoing negotiations, embarked on since ten years, are due to Algeria’s refusal to adhere to the WTO at all costs, as Algerians rejected to comply with injunctions that endanger Algeria’s interests in the future.

    Yet the official accession has to pass through the parliament approval of the adherence convention as a WTO accession prerequisite condition in addition to a law governing foreign commerce protection in line with WTO accession pre-conditions.

    Algeria waits for last round

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    L’Algérie pourrait rejoindre l’OMC en 2007

    Mercredi 31 Janvier 2007 - - Le processus de négociation Algérie-OMC, semble avancer, il en est «au stade final», selon une déclaration faite par le négociateur en chef algérien, Cherif Zaaf, cité par l’agence Algérie Presse Service (APS). Cherif Zaaf a annoncé que l’Algérie pourrait en devenir membre en 2007. Il se dit «optimiste», indiquant qu’il ne reste plus que «quelques questions» pour lesquelles les membres de l’Organisation ont demandé des clarifications et sur lesquelles «nous travaillons actuellement dans la perspective de la 10ème session de travail, prévue, a-t-il avancé, dans les prochaines semaines». Et, parmi les obstacles au processus d’accession à l’OMC, le négociateur en chef a cité des «volets liées aux normes, aux mesures sanitaires, aux licences d’importation et aux restrictions à l’importation». Les derniers rounds de négociations ont notamment buté sur la question de l’interdiction de l’importation d’alcool, une disposition votée par le Parlement, dans le cadre de la loi de finances 2004 et reconduite par la loi de finances 2005. Elle a fait que des membres influents de l’Organisation mondiale du commerce, notamment des pays de l’UE, ont demandé à l’Algérie des explications sur cette interdiction, en évoquant la réciprocité en matière commerciale. Cette disposition à problème a été cependant levée dans la loi de finances complémentaire de 2005. L’Algérie avait, à la faveur des négociations antérieures, traité des contingents et tarifs douaniers, des subventions à l’énergie et à l’agriculture ainsi que des modalités touchant aux brevets, aux droits à la propriété intellectuelle et à la normalisation de la législation économique et financière du pays. Elle a également fait un point de situation des discussions bilatérales et multilatérales et présenté les derniers ajustements économiques. Elle a aussi débattu avec ses vis-à-vis de l’OMC, de l’accès aux marchés pour les marchandises et les services. Une lecture du rapport du groupe de travail chargé de l’adhésion de l’Algérie a été faite à la délégation algérienne, à Genève, lors du septième round. Le document s’est révélé «très positif», selon la partie algérienne. Avant d’en arriver au neuvième round de négociations, l’Algérie a mené une série de rencontres bilatérales, une phase qu’elle a bouclée. Elle a répondu à plus de mille deux cents questions posées par des membres de cette institution. Les questions concernent, de façon générale, le mode de fonctionnement de l’économie nationale et la législation qui la sous-tend. Cette législation, l’Algérie a promis à ses vis-à-vis de l’OMC de la mettre à niveau. Elle s’y est engagée.

    Pour mémoire, le formulaire de candidature de l’Algérie à cette institution multilatérale est vieux de vingt ans. Il y avait été fourni à l’époque du GATT, l’ancêtre de l’OMC. Les négociations que l’Algérie a conduites, depuis, n’ont pas eu la régularité qui devait être la leur. Au pic de la crise sécuritaire, elles ont été carrément bloquées. Elles n’ont repris officiellement qu’en 2000.

    L’Algérie pourrait rejoindre l’OMC en 2007

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    Head of the Algerian negotiators group for Algeria's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Cherif Zaaf said on Tuesday (January 30th) in Algiers that he is "optimistic" about Algeria's accession to the organization this year. "We are due to enter the final stage of the WTO accession process,” he said, adding that only a handful of issues remain unresolved. The group is working to prepare for the 10th working session, which is expected to clear away various disagreements - including double taxation of natural gas imports and a ban on alcohol imports. Membership in the WTO will enable Algeria to sign a Free Trade Agreement with the United States.

    Algeria to enter WTO this year

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    ALGIERS, Jan 31 (KUNA) -- In order to joint the World Trade Organization (WTO) Algeria has to open its energy sector for global competition, said Mina Mashaikhi, chairperson of section of WTO Diplomacy and Talks of the U.N. Symposium on Trade and Development, here Wednesday.

    Algeria will certainly be asked to follow suite of other oil-producing countries and open wide its energy and services sectors before being accepted into the WTO, she told reporters on the fringe of the ongoing symposium.

    The duplicity of energy rates in Algeria, especially the gas rate, still constitutes a problem for local economists and industrialists, she pointed out.

    A single rate for energy is unlikely to harm the small- and medium-size enterprises in the country. On the contrary, it is likely to accelerate Algeria's membership in the world trade arbiter, according to Mashaikhi.

    One of the longest WTO accession talks, Algeria's is still encountering obstacles in the areas of services, agriculture and intellectual property rights.

    Algeria had first applied for the then GATT membership in 1987 and failed to joint the organization throughout nine rounds of talks.

    The country is bracing for a tenth round of talks with the WTO in the coming few weeks, according to chief Algerian negotiator Sherif Zaaf who voiced hope that the country would join the organization before the end of 2007.

    Algeria has to open energy sector for competition to join WTO - official

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