WTO official hopeful on Algerian membership

11 March 2003
Algeria's hopes of joining the WTO received a boost on 8 March when a senior official said that there was a good chance of membership in the first half of 2004. 'Thanks to the good work done by the Algerian negotiators and the progress achieved, there is a strong possibility that Algeria will join the WTO in the first half of 2004,' said Carlos Perez Castillo, chairman of the WTO general council, quoted by the official Algerian news agency. However, he urged Algiers to accelerate negotiations on bilateral trade agreements and amend its legislation in line with WTO requirements. The WTO Secretariat is preparing a draft report on the state of Algeria's multilateral negotiations, which will serve as a basis for its accession agreement. Algeria has been a WTO candidate since 1987.

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