France to regain position as Algeria's top agriculture economic partner

France voiced its willingness to regain its position as Algeria's major economic partner, having been overshadowed recently by other countries.

"In recent years, France has seen its economic exchanges with Algeria go from 24 percent to 10 percent," French Minister for the Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire said here on Sunday in his opening remarks at the fourth session of the Algerian-French Joint Economic Committee (COMEFA).

According to figures of the Algerian Customs, France's exports to Algeria were worth 4.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, representing 10.15 percent of the total imports of the North African nation.

China, France, Italy, Russia and Spain are Algeria's top importing nations, and the top destinations for its exports are Italy, Spain, the United States, France and Brazil.

The minister remained optimistic about the future of bilateral economic cooperation between the two countries, saying "It is true that our bilateral partnership has moved backward. We are determined to give it new impetus in the future."

Le Maire said that the signing of partnership agreement in agri-food, "proves that we can achieve such goals only when there is political will."

Bilateral relations between France and Algeria have been lagging, with both unable to overcome their common "painful" past, which includes 132 years of the French colonial era in Algeria, said analysts.

Despite these difficulties, Algeria remains one of France's biggest economic partners in Africa. 

At the COMEFA, a memorandum of understanding was also signed between Algeria's Agrolog and French Agromed for the establishment of a joint venture to export Algeria's fruits and vegetables, in addition to a partnership agreement in the field of organic agricultural products.

Some 45 protocols, memoranda and partnership agreements have been signed at the joint committee since it was created five years ago, with an aim to help promote the bilateral economic and trade relations between Algeria and France.

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