Algeria prepares new investment law, aims for non-energy funding sources By Reuters
By Hamid Ould Ahmed
ALGIERS (Reuters) – Algeria is preparing a new investment law to improve its business climate and attract foreign investors with the aim of boosting the non-energy sector, Prime Minister Ayman Benabderrahmane said on Thursday.
In addition, he announced that he plans to establish a stock exchange for small-sized companies and implement financial reforms in order to attract new financing sources to the oil-dependent economy.
Due to low energy earnings, Algeria, an OPEC Member, is currently facing serious financial challenges. This situation was made worse by the Pandemic that slammed oil demand and pushed international prices.
Despite promising to increase non-energy sectors, North Africa has not been able to decrease its dependence on energy. Foreign and local investors complain about the bureaucracy.
Following the discussion of the government’s plan of action, Benabderrahmane also spoke out as finance minister. He said, “The government will be reviewing the investment laws to address the many concerns of businessmen” and that they are working hard on fixing the barriers that prevent projects from being realized.
We want to make our country attractive to foreign investment.
He stated that the law will be completed within few weeks and submitted for discussion to legislators. No details were provided on how it would look.
Last year’s legislation allowed foreign investors to acquire majority shares in projects not in strategic sectors. This was to diversify the economy from oil and natural gas. These sectors are mainly the pharmaceutical and energy industries.
Benaberrahmane explained that other measures will accompany the investment law, such as improving the management of banks, developing Algiers, and encouraging partnerships between public and state companies to execute major projects. They also plan to open up opportunities for Islamic finance to play a greater part.
“The financial and banking reform will permit transparent and efficient managing,” he stated, repeating that some stakes in six of the country’s state banks will be sold by the government.
Algiers’ bourse has one of the lowest law capitalizations in the world. It is smaller than those in neighboring Tunisia, Morocco and Morocco.
Benabderrahmane stated that they want alternative financing methods.
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