Bouteflika: Algeria must lessen dependence on hydrocarbons

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, as he was being sworn in for his second five-year term in office, has warned Algeria needs to “progressively lessen” its dependence on hydrocarbons.

The resource, especially natural gas, is responsible for most of Algeria’s foreign exchange earnings and has formed a major part of BHP Billiton’s international expansion.

According to Bouteflika, “It is vital that our country disengage progressively from dependence on hydrocarbons and start to prepare the ‘after-oil’ economy in the context of accelerated globalisation.”

“Algeria must envisage partnerships and privatisation of state-owned companies. But in no case is it a question of selling off the national patrimony or divesting ... the nation’s strategic interests in any manner,” he added as a reassurance to Algerians who fear the negative aspects of privatisation.

Bouteflika made these comments in a speech outlining his new five-year plan for the country. He recently won 85% of the vote in an election see by many as being less than fair.


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