Most of the population are still dependent on agriculture for a living and are subsistence farmers. The country has mineral resources but exploitation is limited by poor infrastructure. There is a growing oil industry and GDP should increase with a stable oil production.
GNP was US$1.1 billion in 2003. By 2007 it was US$2,797.70 million. The largest contributor was the service sector with 51 per cent, industry contributed 30 per cent and agriculture 19 per cent. In 2006 growth was estimated at 11.7 per cent. The growth is mainly attributable to the mining and offshore oil industry. Offshore oil extraction began in 2006. Growth fell in 2007 to 2.0 per cent.
GDP, US$ million
GDP growth, %
GNI per capita
Source: African Development Bank
In 2004, inflation was recorded at 10.4 per cent. This rise was mainly due to rising prices following food shortages. It rose further to 12.1 per cent in 2005, before falling to 6.2 per cent in 2006, rising again to 7.6 per cent in 2007.
As part of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative, the Paris Club agreed in 2002 to write off some of Mauritania's debt. This was in response to Mauritania implementing economic reforms. In June 2006 Mauritania's had its multi-lateral debt cancelled under the G8 Multilateral Debt Relief Intiative. Total external public debt was US$2,079.33 million in 2005, falling to US$1,401.10 in 2006. (Source: AFDB)
BALANCE OF PAYMENTS / IMPORTS AND EXPORTS
Mauritania's main trading partners are Japan, France, China, Italy, Germany, Spain, Belgium, the US, Russia and the UK. Main exported goods are iron ore, fish, and gold. Imports include machinery, petroleum products and foodstuffs.
External Trade, US$ million
(Source: African Development Bank)
Banque Centrale de Mauritanie, PO Box 623, Avenue de l'Indépendance, Nouakchott. Tel: +222 252206 / 252888, fax: +222 252759, URL: http://www.bcm.mr
Governor: Kane Ousmane
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.