L’Expression: Nationale

For years, the blossoming of the “deep strategic” relationship between Algeria and France has been systematically hampered, for obscure “reasons”, by powerful lobbies who do not want a peaceful relationship between Algeria and France. . We hope that this visit will promote the spirit of peace, friendship, excellence, open-mindedness and unity between our two countries, both of which are strategic players around the Mediterranean, a sea which, since 3000 years, has seen the birth of great civilizations, religions, cultures and traditions. This is because the era of confrontations only took place because extremism prevailed in an environment of suspicion and exclusion. To know the Other is to go towards him, to understand him, to know him better and not to impose on him a social pattern contrary to his values.
Recognition of the colonial fact is necessary in order to lessen the passion of relations between Algeria and France without forgetting the necessary decontamination following the French nuclear tests, where French responsibility is complete, as was recently underlined by the head of ANP staff. Relations are not limited to economic aspects, Algeria being considered a key player for the stability of the Mediterranean and African region. In several reports between 2018/2022, the American, European, Russian and Chinese authorities have made a point of stressing that with the tensions in the region, the Algerian authorities are contributing to the stabilization of its immediate neighborhood, particularly in the Sahel. , and that Algeria remains a key player at the regional level. The continuous effort to modernize equipment, as well as the many security personnel available to Algeria, have enabled the country to effectively counter terrorist threats, particularly with the Libyan and Malian crises. In the economic field, all countries, while respecting international agreements, protect part of their national production thanks to the state strategist and regulator in market economy, being able to hold blocking minorities in strategic segments, not to be confused with the return to the managerial state, as shown by the current global crisis, the recent decisions of many developed and emerging countries.

remove obstacles
In this context, Algeria intends to remove the obstacles that block the attraction of foreign investment by the fight against bureaucracy and corruption that hinder the attraction of investment, both local and foreign. In terms of energy, through LNG and the Medgaz and Transmed pipelines, Algeria is a strategic player in the supply of energy to both France and Europe (see our interview with the French daily Le Monde on this subject). .fr 04 March 2022). The main thing for Algeria is to promote an accumulation of managerial and technological know-how, thanks to a win-win partnership, the State being able to hold blocking minorities for strategic segments, the objective being internal added value positive, in order to put an end to the weakness of the productive fabric, the Algerian economy being a fundamentally rentier economy: 98% of exports come from crude and semi-crude hydrocarbons, and more than 80% of the needs of businesses and households are covered by imports.
To avoid the mistakes of the past, the lesson to be learned is that The new international relations are no longer essentially based on personalized relations between heads of state or ministers, but on decentralized networks, through the involvement of businesses and of civil society that can foster cooperation. We must not be utopian and be realistic. In the practice of business, there is no fraternity, no feelings and Algeria must favor only its interests, as is the case of France, because the operators – whether Arab, Algerian Chinese, Russians, French or Americans – being driven by the logic of gain, they will go where the socio-political and socio-economic constraints are minor, their objective being to achieve the maximum profit. Thus, not taking into account imports/exports of services, whose foreign exchange outflows were 10/11 billion dollars between 2010/2020 to fall to 6 billion dollars according to the IMF in 2021, for the trade balance, according to customs statistics, during the first half of 2022, imports were 20.223 billion dollars, an increase of 7.41% compared to the first half of 2021 (18.829 billion dollars) and exports stood during the same period at $25.922 billion, up 48.3% from the first half of 2021 ($17.480 billion). Regarding the main trading partners of Algeria, the Algerian Customs, note that the main suppliers are China (16.5%), France (7.17%), Brazil (6.51%), the Argentina (6.44%), and Italy (5.83%), while the main customers are: Italy (21.83%), Spain (12.13%), France ( 9.94%), the Netherlands (7.38%) and the United States (5.75%). Subject to better governance, the valorization of knowledge – much greater wealth than all hydrocarbon reserves – and the lifting of environmental constraints, as well as with greater visibility and coherence of its socio-economic policy. -economic, and by avoiding legal and monetary instability, Algeria has the potential to move from a cash economy to a non-hydrocarbon economy and become a pivotal country within the Euro-Mediterranean and African space. he attractiveness of the Algerian market stems from the following comparative advantages: geographical proximity to potential markets in Europe, Africa and the Middle East; the size of the domestic market estimated at over 45 million consumers; significant natural wealth; human resources; external indebtedness of less than $6 billion; foreign exchange reserves – although declining – of 44 billion dollars at the end of 2021, foreign exchange earnings which should exceed 50 billion dollars in 2022. Let’s also not forget the number of residents of Algerian origin in the world, and particularly in France. Whatever the number, the diaspora is an essential element of the rapprochement between Algeria and France, because it harbors significant intellectual, economic and financial potential. The promotion of relations between Algeria and its emigrant community must mobilize at various stages of intervention the initiative of all the parties concerned, namely the government, diplomatic missions, universities, entrepreneurs and civil society.

A shared prosperity
Having received several important French personalities for years as an independent international expert, the Algerian authorities having been notified, we had long talks on sensitive subjects, the duty of memory and economic cooperation between Algeria and France. which is far from the enormous potentials that the two countries harbor, a subject that I addressed in the broader framework of Europe/Algeria cooperation at the invitation of the German Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the European Union on 31 March 2021. Each defending its own interests, while safeguarding the stability of the region, our two countries must have a common vision of their future, requiring us to undertake together in order to contribute together to regional stability and co- development through dialogue between cultures and tolerance, sources of mutual enrichment. In a study published in November 2011 at the French Institute of International Relations Paris France on Europe/Maghreb relations, I highlighted that the strategic objective is to achieve shared prosperity reconciling development and democracy, taking into account cultural anthropologies. and thanks to civil society (decentralized networks) which, alongside States and international institutions, will be the energizing vector in the 21st century and in another study under my direction also for IFRI in December 2013 on “the geostrategic challenges of the informal sphere in the Maghreb” I had posed the urgency of intelligently integrating this informal sphere, a product of the central and local bureaucracy which gives birth to corruption, far from authoritarian bureaucratic measures, which controls a significant part of the monetary mass in circulation and economic activities greatly exceeding 50%, limiting all the economic policy of the States, yet serving as a social buffer. While avoiding instrumentalizing history, having lessons in patriotism to receive from no one, being from a large family of revolutionaries, my late father having been imprisoned between 1958/1962 in El Harrach and Lambèse, and having contributed between 1970 to 2022 modestly through the various functions that I had to exercise to the national recovery, it is today – as I underlined it a few years ago (2014) during a conference, to the French Senate, at the invitation of my friend Jean-Pierre Chevènement, former president of the Algeria-France association and great friend of Algeria – to reduce passion in relations in order to promote stability on both shores of the Mediterranean, and Africa, a continent with multiple challenges in this 21st century, Algeria being a pivotal country within this space, (Mebtoul American Herald Tribune USA August 11, 2018) and to prepare our future together by 2025/2030.
In conclusion, Algeria has always been at the crossroads of trade in the Mediterranean and Africa. From Saint Augustine to the Emir Abdelkader, Algeria’s contributions to spirituality, tolerance and universal culture can only predispose it to be attentive to contemporary fractures because the world is undergoing a profound geostrategic reconfiguration where, in the face of important geostrategic tensions, the growing weight of the Brics countries, coupled with global warming, will never be the same again (see Pr Abderrahmane Mebtoul contribution to the Parisian site AfricaPresse and Financial Afrik of August 04/5, 2022 and interview on August 20, 2022 at the international television Alg24 New’s). It is a question, in this pitiless world where any nation which does not advance retreats, to prepare together the future by the mutual respect. For my part, I have always stressed that Algeria intends not to be considered under the vision of a simple market and that a win-win partnership must be favored. And it is within this framework that cooperation between Algeria and France must fit, far from any prejudice and spirit of domination.

*University Professor (Algeria), State Doctor (1974) in Economics, International Expert [email protected]

L’Expression: Nationale – A win-win partnership