Government Role in the Economy

Until recently, the government pursued policies aimed at expanding the public sector, with tight controls on private sector activity. All large industry, including the banking and insurance sectors, was nationalized in the 1960s. Arab aid from the "boom years" of the 1970s was used to expand the state's industrial base with the creation of hundreds of public enterprises. Beginning in 1989, the government started to implement some economic reforms. It passed a new investment law in May 1991 (Investment Law #10), and has gradually lengthened the list of goods that the private sector can either produce or import to include goods produced by the public sector.