Algeria aims to cut imports, balance payment deficit in 2020

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Algeria, under financial pressure after a fall in energy revenue since 2014, is targeting a 13.3 percent reduction in its imports bill next year, Finance Minister Mohamed Loukal said on Wednesday.

Loukal also told parliament the government aimed to cut the country’s balance payment deficit to $8.5 billion in 2020 from the $16.6 billion forecast for the end of this year.

OPEC member Algeria relies heavily on oil and gas, which account for 60 percent of the state budget and 94 percent of total export revenue.

It expects energy earnings to reach $35.2 billion next year, up from the $34.5 billion target for 2019, depending on the oil price, while the goods import bill is projected at $38.6 billion, against a $44 billion goal for this year, Loukal said.

Latest official figures show Algeria’s trade deficit rose by $1.63 billion in the first eight months of this year after an 11.91 percent fall in oil and gas earnings.

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