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Country Highlights

Mauritania: Economic Diversification Efforts

Mauritania’s economy is heavily reliant on natural resources, with fishing and mining products accounting for 98.1% of total exports in 2017. The country’s long-term growth model has suffered from structural constraints that have prevented it from leveraging its natural resources. To address this, the government is working to develop a diversification strategy that focuses on intensifying agriculture and livestock, improving the quality of exported fish, exporting new products, and expanding its market reach by strengthening ties with West African countries. The government is also working to remove legal barriers to women’s participation in the economy, facilitate access to finance, promote local entrepreneurship, and enhance competition in key markets that are dominated by few and well-connected companies.

Mauritania’s efforts to diversify its economy present opportunities for foreign investors, particularly in the agriculture sector. The country’s focus on intensifying agriculture and livestock, improving the quality of exported fish, and exporting new products creates opportunities for foreign investors to establish businesses in these areas. However, the lack of good educational outcomes, good infrastructure, and a rigid exchange-rate policy and underdeveloped banking sector pose challenges for investors. The government is working to address these challenges by enhancing production factors, improving the business environment, and promoting good governance.

Mauritania’s economic diversification efforts are supported by international institutions, and the government is working to attract foreign direct investment through the Agence de Promotion des Investissements en Mauritanie (APIM). The country’s economic outlook for 2022-2024 shows optimistic signs of economic recovery, with strong performance in private consumption and investment. The government’s efforts to meet the challenges of food self-sufficiency provide opportunities for agro-businesses to invest in the country. While challenges related to infrastructure, governance, vulnerability to economic shocks, and limited economic diversification constrain the country’s economic growth, the government’s efforts to diversify the economy present opportunities for foreign investors to establish businesses in Mauritania.

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Featured Reports

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