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Western Sahara: Economic Challenges and Opportunities

Western Sahara faces several economic challenges due to its disputed political status and lack of international recognition. The territory has few natural resources and relies heavily on fishing and phosphate mining for economic activity.

Trade is extremely limited as Western Sahara is not a member of the World Trade Organization or African Continental Free Trade Area. Exports are focused on fish and tomatoes sent mainly to Spain and African neighbors. Import restrictions also constrain economic growth. Expanding trade ties and agreements with additional partners could significantly boost Western Sahara’s economy.

However, the political uncertainty over Western Sahara’s sovereignty deters foreign companies from investing and trading. Morocco claims and administers most of the territory, while the Polisario Front seeks full independence. This impasse has left Western Sahara’s legal status in limbo. Resolving this dispute would remove a major obstacle for economic development.

This country possesses excellent port access and proximity to European markets across the Mediterranean Sea. Its waters contain abundant marine life supporting a thriving commercial fishing industry. There are also believed to be significant offshore oil and gas deposits which remain unexplored. Realizing these resources would be a major economic opportunity.

Western Sahara must overcome political barriers before it can tap into its strategic location and natural resource wealth. Increasing international recognition and trade ties would significantly improve economic prospects.

The unresolved legal status of Western Sahara affects the exploitation of its natural resources and the territory’s economy is administered by the Moroccan Government. Despite claims of extensive on and offshore resources— business opportunities have been limited and the main economic challenge is the development of a more diverse set of industries capable of providing greater employment and income.

The territory’s proximity to Europe and its rich natural resources including- phosphates and fish which present investment opportunities in industries such as: mining, tourism, agribusiness and infrastructure projects.

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Featured Reports

Understand the macroeconomic situations that affect the global positioning of countries.

Businesses can better understand how chatbots can advocate their vision.

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Understand how the U.S. discrepancy in accordance to their debt creates a havoc. 

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