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Home » US Slams Investment Climate in Algeria

US Slams Investment Climate in Algeria

by Yarzar Ye
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The US Department of State has criticized in its recent report “2023 Investment Climate Statements: Algeria” the import substitution policy endorsed by Algeria and the shortage of supplies in the local market.

The report said that “the import substitution policies it employs tend to generate regulatory uncertainty, supply shortages, increased prices, and a limited consumer goods selection.”

“Economic operators deal with a range of challenges, including complicated customs procedures, cumbersome bureaucracy, difficulties in monetary transfers, and price competition from international rivals,” according to the report.

“International firms operating in Algeria complain that laws and regulations are constantly shifting, raising commercial risk for foreign investors.”

The report added that “Algerian government officials frequently encourage US companies to invest in Algeria with particular focus on agriculture, information and communications technology, mining, hydrocarbons (both upstream and downstream), renewable energy, and healthcare.”

“Algeria’s economy is driven by hydrocarbon production, which historically accounts for 95 percent of export revenues and approximately 40 percent of government income.”

“The historically debt-averse government resists foreign financing, preferring to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) to boost employment and replace imports with local production.”

Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune ordered the government to continue the subsidies on basic products and to ban all imports of legumes except through the National Professional Cereals Office.

During Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, Tebboune ordered the cabinet to implement stringent dissuasive measures to revamp the agricultural sector.

The President further authorized the import of fresh red and white meat after one year of banning the import of locally manufactured products. This decision aims to alleviate any potential shortages and price fluctuations.

The Algerian President further instructed the government to promote private investments in this sector. These investments will ensure that perishable goods remain readily available and help curb seasonal price fluctuations.

Moreover, he directed the cabinet to purchase agricultural products directly from producers to contribute to the creation of a National Agricultural Products Board, with cold storage facilities for stock preservation.

He also emphasized the need for a clear and consistent communication policy to keep citizens informed about the availability of essential goods, thus quashing rumors of shortages.

“While Russia’s war in Ukraine has led European countries to turn to Algeria as a source of gas, rising domestic energy consumption and underinvestment in production may make it difficult for the country to significantly increase its exports,” according to the US report.

In this regard, OPEC revealed in its monthly report on Tuesday that Algeria supplied 939,000 bpd in August from 955,000 in July. Algeria had decided on a production cut of 20,000 bpd for August in addition to the OPEC+ voluntary output reductions that have been in force since May.

Source : AsharqAl-Awsat

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