Algeria: No change for restrictive investment law

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Algeria's industry minister says there are no plans to change a 2009 law limiting foreigners to just 49 percent ownership of any operation in the country.

The law has been repeatedly cited by international companies for Algeria's low rate of international investment outside its lucrative hydrocarbon sector. Industry Minister Abdeslam Bouchouareb told parliament Tuesday that the law was the only way to protect the country.

On Sunday, the new government announced its plan to increase foreign investment. Bouchouareb said there would soon be "new initiatives" to ease restrictions on investment but they were still being reviewed.

Algeria's oil and gas reserves are shrinking and the country has a heavy bill of imports.

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