Algeria : traders relieved, but the crisis continues - The Point

After a first attempt of re-opening during the month of ramadan, this time, it is a real relief to traders who were officially allowed to reopen their doors thi

Algeria : traders relieved, but the crisis continues - The Point

After a first attempt of re-opening during the month of ramadan, this time, it is a real relief to traders who were officially allowed to reopen their doors this Sunday, June 7, in Algeria, in the framework of the relaxation of the measures taken to combat the novel coronavirus. The second phase of the déconfinement will be effective in a week, on Sunday, June 14. According to the government's road map unveiled by upstream on Thursday, it is a déconfinement more than prudent that enters the country, since it will be "progressive, flexible and adapted to the epidemiological situation" with a recovery of a part of the commercial activities only.

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Between fear and relief

Were allowed to open as early as this Sunday, travel agencies, estate agencies, companies in the CONSTRUCTION industry, hairdressers for men (not for women), artisans, fast food (only takeaways), the art galleries, sport shops, of games and toys as well as pastries. All merchants are required to adhere to strict preventive measures.

" once the government has given instructions for opening, we have been contacted by the managers of the shop to come to work. We arrived at 8 a.m. to open up to 11 hours. It has enabled us to prepare for the entrance of the hydroalcoholic gel, and it was decided to reduce the access to a single entrance and exit of the store, " says Mohammed, a young salesman in a shop of decoration and interior design.

According to a photographer from the AFP, the beginning of the déconfinement was very shy Sunday in Algiers, the number of businesses allowed to reopen in the capital is limited. "This is the first day of the déconfinement, people were still afraid, one has the impression that they are still confined," said AFP Samir, who holds the shop " children's Paradise ".

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trade Deficit on the rise

The second phase of the plan déconfinement, which will begin next Sunday, will be other activities such as travel by taxi, as well as the restoration. The algerian economy is, in part, to the stop from the month of march. These measures have accelerated the trade deficit of the country. It is now 1.5 billion dollars ($1,328 billion euros) for the first quarter of 2020, up from 26,21 % compared to the same period of 2019, according to official figures published Sunday.

Country-exporter of hydrocarbons, from which it derives its primary revenues, Algeria has suffered the brunt of the fall in the price of the black gold because of the pandemic of the novel coronavirus. Algerian exports have registered a decrease of 24,89 %, from 10.14 billion (almost eur 9 billion) during the first quarter of 2019 to 7.62 billion dollars (6.75 billion euros) during the first three months of 2020, according to figures of the algerian customs published by the agency APS.

imports have recorded a decline of 19,52 %. They were $ 9.12 billion dollars (over 8 billion euros) for the first quarter of 2020, against 11,33 billion dollars (10 billion euros) during the same period in 2019.

The hydrocarbons represented the 1st quarter 2020 92,40 % of the total volume of exports, registering a decline of 25,78 %.

While the demand for oil country continues to suffer the economic consequences of the new coronavirus, the members of the Organization of petroleum exporting countries (Opec) and its allies agreed Saturday to extend in July the reduction in production history to which they compel themselves, since the 1st of may.

According to the algerian minister of Energy Mohamed Arkab, quoted by the agency APS, the aim of the agreement is " to establish and ensure stability on the oil market between supply and demand." The first five customers of Algeria were represented, in the first quarter of 2020, 52,32 % of the country's exports. Italy, as the main customer with 15,44 % of the total amount of exports, has dethroned France (13,20 %), followed by Turkey (9,26 %), Spain (8,24 %) and China (6,19 %). China retains its position as the main supplier in the country ahead of France, Italy, Spain and Germany.

also Read Algeria in the face of the oil crisis and health

Caution for the next steps

Since march 19, the authorities have banned the groups and suspended all means of public transport for public and private within cities and between provinces, as well as the railway traffic. Even if a part of the measures is now closed, the closure of schools and universities, stadiums, mosques and halls remains in effect.

The mask-wearing health is mandatory since may 24, and the offenders are punished with heavy fines. According to the latest report of the scientific Committee to follow the evolution of the pandemic, published on Sunday, 10 154 cases of contamination have been officially reported in Algeria, of which 707 deaths, since the registration of the first case on the 25th of February. The scientific Committee has reported 6 717 patients healed. Algeria is the most affected country in North Africa by the pandemic.

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Updated Date: 08 June 2020, 03:33

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