Algiers — Minister of Trade Bakhti Belaib has received the adviser to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Middle East and Central Asia Department, Jean-François Dauphin, with whom he discussed issues relating to Algeria's policy in the sectors of trade and investments.
Dauphin's visit to Algeria is part of the annual discussions between the IMF and its Member States, in accordance with the article IV of IMF Statutes for the annual assessment of the countries' economies.
During the audience, the two sides examined relations between IMF and Algeria as well as the current economic context marked by the decline in oil prices, import-licensing procedures, the 51/49% rule governing foreign investments, Algeria's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the promotion of exports, said the Ministry in a statement.
Belaib also explained to the IMF representative Algeria's decision to resort to import licences following the sharp decline in oil prices, which has hurt the balance of payments, said the statement.
This measure, which does not affect the principle of freedom of trade, concerns, for the time being, cement, concrete reinforcing bars and cars.
As regards the 51/49% rule, Belaib said that this measure is not restrictive to foreign direct investment, adding it will also encourage partnership in all areas.
The minister also reiterated Algeria's commitment to join the WTO, underlining the priority attached currently to the discussions with the European Union on the revision of some clauses of the Association Agreement.
Belaib and Dauphin agreed on the need for Algeria to promote national production and exports.