Algeria to resume car importation

As many countries relax lockdown restrictions, commercial activities are picking up as they battle the negative economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following a Cabinet meeting this weekend, Algerian President, Abdelmadjid Tebboune has approved a plan to resume car importation in the country again.

The decision to halt overseas purchases follows a surge in the bill for imports that coincided with a drop in energy revenue caused by a fall in global crude oil prices.

The ban was endorsed in 2014 under former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who resigned in April last year after pressure from mass protests and the lack of support from the army-a phase in Algeria that led to the demand for the removal of the ruling elite and the prosecution of people suspected of involvement in corruption .

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The ban was replaced with partnerships between Algerian business officials and foreign carmakers to set up local assembly operations- a measure that failed to reduce the bill as most car parts were imported and domestic prices for cars surged.

To encourage car plants to use local parts, assemblies with high local integration will be exempted from the value added tax (VAT), the statement explained.

Tebboune, who was elected last December, has vowed to improve living standards for Algerians and carry out economic and political reforms to diversify the economy away from oil and gas.

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