Algeria’s parliament has passed a legislation allowing foreign investors to take majority stakes in projects in “non-strategic sectors” as the country seeks to diversify its economy away from oil and gas.
Lawmakers also endorsed hikes in gasoline and diesel prices and new taxes on cars to help the country offset a sharp fall in energy earnings.
The government announced its plan to open up non-strategic sectors to greater foreign investment early this year and the OPEC member’s need for diversification has been made more acute by the recent crash in oil prices following the coronavirus pandemic.
The slide in global crude oil prices forced the Algerian government to cut spending and postpone projects previously planned for 2020, although it kept subsidy policy unchanged to avoid social unrest.
As a result, the government expects the economy to shrink by 2.6% this year, against 0.8% growth in 2019.