oil prices plunge
Algeria vowed Sunday not to resort to external debt under any circumstances, despite the sharp decline in the country’s oil revenue since the collapse of oil prices in 2014.
Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmadjid Tebboune made the remarks at a tripartite meeting between the government, the General Union of Algerian Workers, and the Employers Forum, the largest Algerian business organization in the North African nation.
“Resorting to foreign debt is not allowed and we do not even accept to think about it,” Tebboune said.
“We will not undermine our sovereignty under any circumstances,” he noted.
He further reassured that Algeria has enough resources to maintain the country’s economy balance, despite decline in oil revenues.
“We have enough financial means to continue to finance priority development projects, especially in the sectors of housing, healthcare and education, while we have an annual import budget worth 35 billion U.S. dollars to assure the country’s needs,” he said.
The PM said that Algeria seeks to reach the ranks of emerging countries as soon as possible, through the establishment of an integrated economy, noting that Algeria had spent about one-third of its gross domestic product as public investment.
Algeria’s oil revenue, which constitutes the country’s public treasury primary resource, has dropped by about 50 percent since 2015.
The oil rich nation lost 35 billion dollars of its foreign exchange reserves in 2015 following the collapse of oil prices in the international market, and about 30 billion dollars in 2016, which led to a decline in exchange reserves to 143 billion dollars from 194 billion dollars in 2013.