EconSource: Libyan government planning oil export program to weaken rival
Libya’s internationally-recognized government asked companies buying oil from ports under its control to deal with its administration, a move seen as an effort to weaken its rival Islamist-backed cabinet. Any sales of the country’s oil should now be arranged through a state firm based in Benghazi in order to prevent fraud. The chairman of the National Oil Corporation, appointed by the elected government, said his management team is drafting a loading program that is separate from the one implemented so far, which was designed by another management team of the state-run company based in the capital, Tripoli.

[Bloomberg, Reuters, 3/17/2015]

Tunisia to start economic rescue plan, sees 7 percent growth

Tunisia’s new government announced it will launch an emergency economic plan that includes reforms in subsidies and social funds to revive growth to a projected 7 percent in the next five years. A draft document summing up the five-year plan is expected to be released for a general consultation by the end of March. The draft reform vies to push through structural changes aimed at economic recovery and social welfare by promoting efficiency, justice, and transparency. [Reuters, ANSAmed, 3/18/2015]

Algeria seeks more oil-exporter cooperation on price drop

According to Algeria’s energy minister, the country is seeking more cooperation among oil exporting countries to help counter the sharp fall in global crude prices. In December, Algeria called for an OPEC production cut in response to a more than 50 percent collapse in the price of petroleum and has since said it was in talks with OPEC and non-OPEC producers to trim the market surplus. [Reuters, 3/17/2015]

Morocco’s January-February trade deficit falls by 37.2 percent

According to the foreign exchange regulator, Morocco’s trade deficit fell by 37.2 percent year on year in the first two months of the year due to lower energy imports as oil prices fell. The trade gap was 20.5 billion dirhams ($2.0 billion), down from 32.64 billion dirhams at the end of February 2014. [Reuters, 3/17/2015]

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Qatar will not review currency peg | Reuters
Peace in Middle East vital for economic future of UAE | 7Days
Saudi crude exports up in January to 7.47 million bpd | Reuters