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Free trade zone and expansion of investments .. Erdogan's visit to Algeria opens new economic horizons


Abdel-Hakim Hadaqa-Algeria

"I hope that this forum will be a new beginning for the Algerian-Turkish relations." This was one of the most prominent statements made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during his supervision yesterday on the launch of a joint meeting between businessmen of the two countries, as part of a friendship and work visit of their leaders to Algeria.

President Abdel Majid Taboun replied by saying that they agreed to raise trade exchanges to more than five billion dollars soon, and to establish daily communication between the Algerian ministers and their Turkish counterparts so that they would not leave any room for misunderstanding.

The two sides also translated that bilateral will through a series of immediate decisions, the most important of which was the signing by the Presidents of the two countries of establishing a high-level cooperation council, and planning to hold it "in the shortest possible time."

The two sides revealed the preparation of negotiations for the establishment of a free trade area, and the holding of an "African-Turkish-Algerian" summit soon, where Erdogan noted that Algeria will be a key player in it, as he pledged to provide facilities in granting visas to the Algerians, after their country became third in Turkey's factories across the world , According to him.

On the diplomatic front, Erdogan said that Algeria is an element of stability and peace in this difficult period that is spanning the region, and developments in Libya.

For his part, Algerian President Taboun said that Turkey has turned into a country among the strongest economies outside the European Union, stressing his acceptance of President Erdogan's invitation to visit his country.

He also announced the establishment of a Turkish cultural center in Algeria, and an Algerian cultural center in Turkey.

Official figures in Algeria indicate that between 2003 and 2017, 138 Turkish investment projects were announced, amounting to $ 4.74 billion, and these investments are expected to allow the creation of nearly forty thousand jobs.

Trade exchanges between the two countries amounted to more than four billion dollars in the first eleven months of 2019, making Turkey the fifth largest trading partner for Algeria.

About a thousand Turkish companies are currently operating in Algeria, while the number of the Turkish community in Algeria exceeds ten thousand people, including managers, technicians and workers in various professional fields.

Turkey now invests in Algeria through about a thousand economic institutions (Reuters)

Without required
On the reality of these bilateral relations, Ahmed Sadouq, Chairman of the Algerian-Algerian Parliamentary Friendship Committee, believes that the volume of cooperation and exchange does not rise to the required level, as the visa is still imposed between the two countries, which constitutes an obstacle to development.

He said that the figure of five billion dollars in volume for exchange annually is not sufficient, when compared to the economic potentials and development capacities of the two countries and even the available opportunities.

He added in a statement to Al-Jazeera Net, that Turkey invests in Algeria through about nine hundred economic institutions, and directly employ more than three thousand workers, in addition to thousands of indirect positions, a number that exceeds by far the size of the size of the French companies that enjoyed preference during the era of Bouteflika, he added.

Historic opportunity
As for future prospects, Zadok confirmed that Algeria and Turkey have a historic opportunity today to develop their economic relations, and this is due to "the eradication of part of the French lobby represented in the bureaucracy after the February 22 mobility, which has long aborted this cooperation because of loyalty and entanglement of interests with France and some countries the West".

He explained that he was witness to what happened in the scenes of Erdogan's visit to Algeria in 2018, where he gave her fictional shows, but was buried as soon as the visit ended, because the former Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia manipulated the responses and procrastination until he missed a real opportunity on the country, as he put it.

He added that the title of a successful and developing economy is now shifting its position to the east, where Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Turkey and others, and if Algeria is really looking for its interest, it must change the compass, especially since it lost a lot with its traditional partners who will never accept its development.

He added that Turkey is determined to invest heavily in Africa on the basis of a "winner-winner", and Algeria should use that as the gateway to the continent, and use its intelligence and leadership as a pivotal country to be at the forefront of African countries.

Trade between Turkey and Algeria reached more than $ 4 billion in 2019 (Reuters)

An incubating environment
On the other hand, Abdel-Wahab Geagea, a member of the Al-Ghad Academy for Research and Supervision, said that Turkey, after clashing with procrastination in accepting its membership of the European Union, turned towards its Arab and Islamic surroundings, a more attempt to win over the Gulf states, as they succeeded with each other and failed with others.

In a statement to Al-Jazeera Net, he considered that the matter differs with the Arab Maghreb, where the political and historical environment is more ready to deal with the current Turkey, as it preserves a lot of respect for the historical Ottoman Turkey with which the region is linked, and Algeria in particular.

Thus, it is less embraced by the factors of alienation from the East, whether what we are witnessing today with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, or even for historical deposits dating back to the era of the "Arab Revolution" against the Ottoman Empire, as he put it.

He explained that Turkey today needs to get out of the shell imposed on it by Western powers after losing the First World War in the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, which will end with exceeding its hundred years, that is, after three years.

Accordingly, it is working to penetrate the Arab Maghreb - as Geagea says - as it heads towards Libya to protect the legitimate government, which is a pre-emption for the establishment of an anti-Turkish regime led by Haftar, as well as towards Algeria being the axis of North Africa and the heart of the Arab Maghreb, because of its geopolitical importance, represented by the site At the head of the Mediterranean Sea, which overlooks most of Europe, not to mention the respect it enjoys among neighbors, and even in the international environment in general.

He added that Turkey employs its relations with Algeria because the latter is an important market - whether in the number of people or in the natural resources it possesses for investment - through the exploitation of the common cultural heritage, which was embodied in Turkey's guarantee of restoring some of the archaeological monuments witnessing the prosperity of that period in Algeria, Like the Ketchaoua Mosque, in addition to the openness that Turkish universities know for the benefit of students of the Maghreb, especially the Algerians.

Source: aljazeera

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