Algeria is a North African nation which gained independence from French colonial rule in the year 1962. It is the second largest country in Africa, in terms of its land area.
The country is blessed with natural resources and the eight largest natural gas reserve in the world.
Algeria has a mixed geography with a large portion falling in the Sahara dessert region and a long coastal line along the Mediterranean Sea in the north. Based on its 2010 estimates, the country had a population of 35 million, however 23 percent of the population lives below poverty line.
Algeria Economic Profile and GDP
Continuous and significant improvements characterize the Algerian economy, governed by the public sector; it’s a closed economy with strict controls on the foreign and private investments. Hydrocarbons are the primary revenue generator for Algeria and account for 60 percent of the total budget revenue and 30 percent of the GDP.
Algeria’s GDP in 2010 was US$ 158.969 billion, growing 3.843 percent and is expected to increase to US$ 171.606 billion in 2011. 2015 forecasts predict Algeria’s GDP to reach US$ 211.499 billion growing 3-5 percent per year between 2010 and 2015.
Algeria Industry Sectors
The main industry sectors in Algeria are agriculture, fishing, minerals, finance and tourism.
Algeria’s unemployment rate in 2010 was 10.034 percent, down from 12.4 percent in 2009;
with 14 percent of the labor force employed in agriculture, 13.4 percent in industry, 10 percent in construction and public works, 14.6 percent in trade, 32 percent in government 32 percent and 16 percent in other sectors.
Algeria Economy: Currency
The Algerian Dinar (DZD) is the country’s official currency. In 2010, US $1 was equal to DZD72.6. Due to the unstable value of the Algerian Dinar in the international market, most of the trade in Algeria occurs in US Dollars and Euros.
Owing to booming oil prices, Algeria has a foreign exchange and gold reserve totaling US $149.2 billion (2010 estimates).
Algeria Economy: Economic Relations
Algeria is a member of the UN, African Union and OPEC (Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries). In 2010, the country exported items worth $52.03 billion, down from $78.23 billion in 2009.
Algeria's main exports include hydrocarbons and animal products, with the US as its largest exporting partner while its main imports are consumer goods and food materials largely from France.
The Algerian economy is likely to improve further as its banking and construction sectors evolve and reduce its economic dependency on the oil sector.