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Updated Feb 6, 2020

The Bank of Algeria’s governor announced that at the end of 2019, the country’s foreign exchange reserves had dropped to US$62 billion, and that it can be expected to drop further to US$51.6 billion by the end of 2020, a level three times lower than in 2014.

Following a global dip in oil prices in 2014, Algeria’s foreign reserves fell 65 percent from its initial value of US$179 billion, according to Bank of Algeria financial documents from this period. To counter this decline, Algeria’s former prime minister Ahmed Ouyahia initiated a program of monetary easing in 2017, to little effect. Economic analysts expect 2021 to be a turning point as to whether the country can rectify its financial situation.

Speaking to Sputnik, Algeria’s former treasury minister Ali Benouari said that unless serious structural reforms are made, the next Algerian president will be forced to step down under the weight of the economic crisis. Benouari has proposed the privatization of several public entities; an increase in VAT, customs duties, and import taxes; and a reassessment of the EU–Algeria Association Agreement and free-trade agreements with Arab countries.

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