Since committing itself to a reform agenda a few years ago, Algeria has experienced steady economic progress, attributed largely to government's drastic measures focusing on the privatization of state-owned firms.
Calling for the gradual privatization of nearly 180 public enterprises, the Algerian government has recently introduced a new scheme that is yet to be brought before the National Public Council for further debate and approval.
Earlier this year, the minister of participation and coordination of reforms, Hamid Tammar, who is in charge of the state’s privatization program, formulated a priority list of 67 enterprises to be privatized during the course of 2001.
It is estimated that more than half are headed towards full-privatization, while the remaining 28 will make do with opening their capital in order booster their performance.
These companies employ some 90,000 workers, and it is estimated that 7,000 of those will initially find themselves out of jobs.
The public enterprises targeted by the ministry were those rendered as having the greatest appeal to investors. Factors considered include the companies’ financial readiness, the expected speed and ease of restructuring moves within the company, its financial performance potential, and also its potential contribution to boosting the national economy.
Preference was therefore given to companies in the tourist sector, the construction, the agro-alimentary, the communications, the finance and the mining and energy sectors.
Algeria is expecting to generate $1.5 billion in revenues from the privatization process. This figure excludes compensations due to the discharged workers. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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