Algeria won't resort to foreign debt, assures President Tebboune

APS - 11 October 2021

ALGIERS-President of the Republic Abdelmadjid Tebboune on Sunday reaffirmed Algeria's refusal to resort to foreign debt, calling such a move "a political suicide."

Speaking at a regular meeting with national media, President Tebboune said that "the International Monetary Fund is acting as if it was preparing the ground for indebtedness. We will never opt for this choice, it is unthinkable. We will not lead the country to a political suicide."

President Tebboune said he was skeptical of the recommendations of the IMF which advocates the postponement of the implementation of structural reforms, saying that "the Algerian state will pursue these reforms in full sovereignty."

Meanwhile, the Head of state welcomed the reports of the World Bank (WB) that emphasized "the resilience of the Algerian economy in an unstable environment."

The Algerian economy should grow by nearly 4%, exceeding the forecasts of the World Bank (2.6%), he said.

At the end of the year, Algeria's revenues will cover all its imports without resorting to the foreign exchange reserves, said President Tebboune.

"Unless there is an exceptional situation, we can reach financial balance by the end of 2021 without resorting to the US$44 billion of foreign exchange reserves, which were estimated at US$57 billion at the end of 2020," stressed the president.

As for the performance of the national economy in 2021, President Tebboune expects non-hydrocarbon to hit US$4.5 billion, a figure never reached "for 25 years."

In this regard, he highlighted the role of the policy implemented in terms of rationalization of imports in order to ensure the balance of trade, reporting "a structural review" of the import policy "without creating shortages."

This approach has reduced the import bill from US$60 billion to US$32 billion.