ALGIERS – Monday, 10 July 2023 (APS) – The President of the National Economic, Social and Environmental Council (CNESE), Sidi Mohammed Bouchenak Khelladi, stressed Monday in Algiers the importance of the step taken by Algeria through its ratification, two years ago, of the agreement on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and its positive impact on the national economy, including the development of non-hydrocarbon exports.

Speaking at a seminar on the strategic orientations and implementation prospects of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, Bouchenak Khelladi said that Algeria’s ratification of the AfCFTA agreement in May 2021 would be “a crucial step” for the country’s economy, opening up new prospects for the national economy and boosting trade between African countries, in addition to developing exports.

The CNESE President also stressed the importance of exports, which “are necessary to support industry,” asserting that “mastery of production technologies is an essential competitive advantage in order to effectively access African markets”, calling for “in-depth reflection on the socio-economic prospects within the framework of the implementation of the AfCFTA in order to better understand its mechanisms and its impact on our foreign trade.”

The AfCFTA covers a market of 1.3 billion people, expected to reach 3 billion by 2050, with a global GDP estimated at US$2,500 billion. It will thus be the largest free trade area in the world since the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO), according to information provided at the seminar.

The same official recalled the approach taken by the public authorities, through the commitments of the President of the Republic, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, including that relating to “the implementation of a coherent and judicious trade policy to opening up to the global economy through the AfCFTA.”

In this connection, he stressed the need to assess the export potential of Algerian products to the AfCFTA by considering the opportunities available to the Algerian side and defining the priority sectors to strengthen Algeria’s presence on the African market.

For Bouchenak Khelladi, Algerian companies, particularly those involved in foreign trade, are called upon to take advantage of the African market mechanisms set out in the Agreement; emphasizing the importance of taking the best paths to enhance Algeria’s competitive advantages on the continental market.