Rabat – Just over a week ago, Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdelkade Messahel boasted of his country’s high ranking in the World Bank’s Doing Business listing. But after Algeria received an exceedingly low score of 166 in this year’s report, the minister has become the target of mockery inlocal media.
“[For] Doing Business in North Africa, there’s none other than Algeria,” boasted the country’s FM at a conference by the local business union, Forum de Chefs des Entreprises (FCE).
Apparently in ignorance of the economic realities of the region, Messahel stated in a patronizing tone that neither Tunisia, Egypt, nor Morocco could aspire to compete with Algeria for its business climate.
For Morocco, he reserved a particular scorn. The kingdom is the most frequently used comparison for Algerian economics and businesspeople, especially in light of the lead that Morocco seems to have over its neighbor attracting foreign investments and expanding in Africa through several projects and businesses.
But Messahel went beyond an economic analysis, casting accusations of serious illegal activity against Morocco’s business ventures.
“We’re not afraid of anyone,” he stated. “We’re not Morocco, we’re Algeria. We have potential, we have a future. We’re a stable country. We’re a confident country. It’s not us who say this. It’s others who say so.”
The Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejected his allegations, calling them “childish” and “ignorant.”
Commenting on the World Bank ranking on articles published by Algerian media, some Algerians resorted to sarcasm to make fun oftheir minister’s contradicted claims.
Some said that Algeria dropped 100 places in just 10 days since Messahel made his famous statement. Others laughed at the minister, saying he must have been using the hashish he accused Morocco of selling.
The Algerian online media outlet Le Matin published an article about the ranking with a picture of Messahel on it and atitle that reads: “Doing business ranking 2018: Algeria 166, Morocco 69!”
The news website recalled Messahel’s statement about Doing Business in Algeria, describing his claim as “shameful.”