For one day, the National Workshop in Algeria brought together a large number of economic experts, from the background of academia, civil society and politics. During the workshop, three main axes of economic policies were debated during a very lively and interactive discussion:
Fiscal policies in Algeria were introduced by Mr. Abderrahmane Ben Khalfa, a former minister of finance. He stressed, the fundamental position of structural fiscal referms, because it plays a triple role in the Algerian economic sphere: the financing of economic development, the redistribution of income and the regulation and stimulation of the economy as a whole.
Foreign trade policies, which are in the Algerian case always sensitive to the prices of hydro carbonates, especially with less and less domestic industrial production, were discussed by Prof. Youssef Ben Abdallah. He listed a number of recommendations, mostly focusing on a real policy of industrialization and exportation.
Finally, investment policies and labor market policies were presented by Prof. Mohamed Cherif Belmihoub. He underlined the fact, that the Algerian economic growth is fragile and very dependent on public expenditure. This has negative consequences for public investment, due to the polarization of investments either in the hands of the state or the energy sector.
These debates were in fact very animated and all three panels were presented with different viewpoints. However, all participants were unanimous that structural economic reforms are urgently needed to improve the situation of the most economically deprivileged parts of the society: young people, women and small and medium enterprises.
The participants equally gave their feedback towards the “Discussion Paper” on economic reforms in the MENA regional that was elaborated by the Core Group of the regional project and was enriched and informed by the debates in the national context.
The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung has a network of nine offices in the MENA region and implements projects in a total of 13 countries. Some offices, such as Egypt or Sudan, look back at a history of more than 40 years of cooperation.