Algeria says in no hurry to join WTO

22:18, June 30, 2010      

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Algeria is "in no hurry" to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) after many years of negotiations, state-run APS news agency reported on Wednesday.

Trade Minister Mustapha Benbada was quoted by the agency as telling the parliament on Tuesday that the country has answered 96 questions raised by the European Union and the United States to approve Algeria's admission to the international organization.

"But, we are in no hurry to join the organization," he said. " The current international circumstances are to Algeria's advantage, " he said in reference to the global economic crisis.

Algeria hopes to join the international body but through terms that safeguard its economic interests, the minister said.

Since initiating WTO membership talks in 1987, Algeria has held ten rounds of talks with the organization and 93 meetings with 21 countries.

It successfully finalized negotiations with Brazil, Cuba, Switzerland, Uruguay and Venezuela. Yet, other sides, including the United States, EU and Japan, are still opposed to Algeria's membership due to what they consider protectionist practices by the country. Other sides also voiced reservations over Algeria's policies on intellectual property, banks, insurance systems, transports and telecommunications.



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