ALGERIA CAPABLE OF SMOOTH ECONOMIC TRANISITION, SAYS IMF OFFICIAL

ALGIERS, -- Algeria has the capacity to conduct a smooth economic transition as a result of the sharp drop in oil and gas prices from their peaks but it should accelerate its economic diversification through reforms, says a senior International Monetary Fund (IMF) official.

"Algeria is facing a major economic crisis owing to the falling oil prices for over two years, and which is likely to continue. But when the oil shock began, the country was not poor," the head of IMF Middle East and Central Asia Department, Jean-Francois Dauphin, told APS in an interview.

Dauphin is leading the IMF delegation on a visit to Algeria to update the country's economic data and discuss various issues, especially ways to improve the technical capacities of Algeria's financial institutions.

The IMF official said Sunday that the oil shock had had a "rapid and strong" impact on Algeria's public finances and external accounts, which have significantly declined.

In this regard, he added that the major challenge for Algeria now was restoring the macro-economic balances and reviewing its economic growth model in order to reduce dependence on energy sector and to reduce public expenditures.

To that end, he underlined the need to move towards more diversified growth driven by the private sector.

Source: Name News Network