Algeria wants national ships handling imports of food
Algeria’s Maritime Transport Group (GATMA, acronym in French) reached agreements with milk and wheat industry groups to utilize locally-owned ships in imports, Algérie Presse Service (APS) reported.
The agreements were entered into between GATMA and Algeria’s Inter-Professional Milk Board (ONIL) and Inter-professional Cereals Board (OAIC). The goal is to limit the use of foreign-owned transport and cut foreign exchange costs in wheat and powder milk imports.
The move’s in line with wider plans from Algeria’s government, and the agreements were signed at the seat of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries. APS said the bulk of imports are currently handled by non-local players.
The deal’s intended to increase the number of Algerian ships in imports, keep foreign shipping companies in check, and enhance an investments program providing for the purchase of new vessels.
Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries minister Chérif Omari said the policy will be extended into other sectors, as well as to exports. Public Works and Transport minister Mustapha Kouraba said ten vessels will be made available for powder milk and wheat transport at first.
The move will likely boost the maritime transportation sector, which currently employs only 60% of its capacity and handles no more than 2% to 5% of import operations, as per GATMA numbers.
From the Newsroom : Brazil-Arab News Agency (ANBA)