Sekondi Accra

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was re-elected in 2009 without opposition to another five-year term and Algeria is set to rebound from the 2009 economic slump which diminished its oil receipts. In May 2010, the government began its third investment plan (2010-14), a $286 billion dollar continuation of the $250 billion program that has led to major infrastructure programs in the housing, sanitation and transportion sectors. This latest phased is dedicated to "human development", focusing on education, healthcare and job creation.

The government is embarking on a new phase of economic nationalism. While it previously conducted the infrastructure drive with the participation of foreign companies, local enterprises will be the focus this time. The bidding rounds will be exclusively local for a set time period and will only open to foreign companies if no Algerian company aquires the offer.

This comes after demonstrations in Algeria over the perceived benefits and contracts accuring to Chinese and Gulf companies. In July 2009, Algiers had already placed a protectionist shield over its economic policy by enacting a law that required all foreign investors to have a local partner owning a controlling 51% stake. The new finance law approved in September 2010 confirms this rule and also reinforces the government's preemption rights on the sale of equity in privatized state entities. This has not gone over well with foreign investors because the number of new foreign projects descended from 102 in 2008 to four in 2009. In addition to Djezzy, the Orascom subsidiary which was targeted for repossession after financial worries, LaFarge and Arcelor-Mittal also encountered potential problems.

By protecting its economy, Alegeria hopes to reduce its dependence on imports. The agriculture sector performed well in 2009 and 2010, producing record harvests and reducing the need for wheat imports. Algerian exports have increased considerably since 2000, reaching $39 billion dollars in 2009. Although its growth in agriculture (17%), construction (9.3%), and services (8.6%) has been strong, the economy is still dependent on the oil sector, which accounted for more than half of the GDP and 62% of the budget in 2009.

The collapse in the oil price in 2009 led to Algeria's first budget deficit in a decade, but the government was helped by the $150 billion dollars it holds in foreign reserves. In September 2010, the CEO of the state oil company Sonatrach, Noureddine Cherouati stated that the country would double oil and gas exploration efforts by 2015.

After the dismissal of executive management in Sonatrach, there have been further changes at the highest level. Oil Minister Chakib Khelil, a confidant of Bouteflika was succeeded by Youcef Yousfi, who headed the energy department from 1997 to 1999. During the reshuffle, Interior Minister Nourreddine Zerhouni, another close aide to Bouteflika, took the post of vice-premier, as deputy to Ahmed Ouyahia, who maintained his position as prime minister.


Official Data


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Algeria maintains an embassy in the United States at 2118 Kalorama Road NW - Washington DC 20008: Tel: (202) 265-2800: Fax: (202) 667-2174... Email:
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