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Algeria aims for economic reforms to develop non-energy sector, attract investment

August 31, 2021

The new plan will focus on 'continuing the national housing policy and mobilizing financial resources for it,' the statement said, in addition to 'strengthening purchasing power and improving care for the most vulnerable groups'. A fall in revenues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which curbed energy demand, has prompted authorities to reduce spending and delay several investment projects.

Algeria will make reforms to improve the business climate and attract investment, the presidency said on Monday, as the OPEC member seeks to reduce its reliance on oil. But the North African country will maintain spending on subsidies, despite financial pressures caused by a fall in energy prices, the presidency said in a statement after a government meeting chaired by President Abdelmadjid Tebboune.

Elected last year, Tebboune has pledged to develop Algeria's non-energy sector to reduce reliance on oil and gas which account for 94% of total export revenue and 60% of the state budget. He appointed a new government following a June parliamentary election in the country of 45 million. A government action plan approved by Tebboune on Monday includes 'improving the attractiveness of the investment climate and ensuring legal stability,' the presidency's statement said.

Both foreign and local investors have complained about bureaucracy and repeated changes to the country's laws governing investment. The action plan, to be discussed by parliament, also aims to modernise the agriculture sector to help cut spending on food imports, including cereals and milk.

But keen to avoid social unrest, the government will keep unchanged a policy that sees it subsidise everything from basic foodstuffs to fuel, medicine and housing. The new plan will focus on 'continuing the national housing policy and mobilizing financial resources for it,' the statement said, in addition to 'strengthening purchasing power and improving care for the most vulnerable groups'.

A fall in revenues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which curbed energy demand, has prompted authorities to reduce spending and delay several investment projects. The pandemic followed a political crisis in 2019 when crowds took to the streets to demand the departure of Algeria's ruling elite as well as political and economic reforms.

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