ALGIERS- In an interview with the French weekly newspaper “Le Point”, the President of the Republic, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, confirmed that he intends to combat bureaucracy with all his might.
He stated, “The situation (the business climate of the editorial note) is not so catastrophic, even if there are indeed problems and difficulties, but also cases of obstruction due to bureaucracy, which I will strive to combat with all my strength.”
In the same context, the President of the Republic added, “Businessmen and start-ups have already reached this point: the bureaucracy is our common enemy. Other than that, people continue to work and invest and the country does not know a halt.”
However, on the other hand, the President of the Republic admitted, “We have an underdeveloped and loosely regulated economy directed towards imports without any joint exchange between sectors,” an economy that “votes are rising against to denounce the blockages registered at the administration level, officials who are afraid of making decisions, taxation system that supports the parallel market and cautious banks …”.
On a question about the activities undertaken by Algeria in order to improve the business climate, the President clarified regarding the practice of business and its criteria for attracting foreign direct investment that “some countries accept them, as they do not have other means in order to create jobs, which turns them into semi-protectors for other countries where, for example, union activity can be prevented.”
But implementing this in Algeria is “impossible” because “there is a demand for a state and a strong enough social protection, so it is not very tempting.”
With regard to the rule 49-51% governing foreign investment, which was abolished for an important part of the sectors and which was kept exceptionally for the strategic sectors, the President stressed that this rule “does not bother anyone” when it comes to investment in the field of hydrocarbons.
“In addition, he said, it is an affluent country that enjoys solvency and has 45 million consumers.”
All necessary measures have been taken to reassure Algerian employers
To a question about the conditions in which Algerian employers are active, Mr. President replied, “We did our best, and even more, to reassure them. We have twice brought together Algerian employers and taken measures within the framework of the finance laws.”
The President added, “Now if they (employers) have things to blame themselves for, the guilt is not my fault, and justice has taken the necessary time to hold accountable those responsible for looting public money.
Turning to the automobile industry, he once again regretted the model previously applied in Algeria, where groups (in the field of cars and the electrical home industry) were imported to be installed in Algeria, “which cost the state 3.5 billion dollars to create barely 400 jobs.”
“We were able to supply the market with cars that are more expensive than those imported,” the president explained, adding, “which is against the rules of the economy.”
In the same context, he renewed his call to serious investors wishing to invest in the mechanical industry while respecting the terms of reference and ensuring the required integration ratios.
The President of the Republic added, “Those who wish to enter the field of the mechanical industry while respecting the specifications are welcome,” stressing that “for light industries such as the electrical industry, the rate of integration must initially reach 70% at least.”
He concluded by saying, “What we aspire to is building an economy in which the needs of our country are met through our national production.”