Mauritania

Mauritania, in long form the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, is a state in northwest Africa.

General presentation

Official name: Islamic Republic of Mauritania
Type of regime: Islamic Republic
Surface area: 1,030,700 km2 (1,000,000 sq mi)
Capital: Nouakchott
Main cities: Nouakchott, Nouadhibou, Rosso.
Official language(s): Arabic

National holiday: November 28

Population: 4.5 million (World Bank, 2019)
Density: 4.3 inhabitants per square kilometer
Population growth: 2.8% (World Bank, 2018)
Urban population growth: 4.4
Literacy rate: 46% (2014)
Source: Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs

Economic situation

Mauritania benefited from a favorable international environment in 2019, amid rising prices for the country’s mineral exports and a small increase in imported oil prices. According to World Bank data, economic growth increased significantly from 3.6 percent in 2018 to 5.9 percent in 2019. Growth forecasts for 2020, initially estimated at 6.3 percent, were not met due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Mauritania’s GDP is expected to contract by 3.2 percent in 2020.
Inflation increased from 2.3 percent in 2019 to 3.9 percent in 2020. After budget surpluses in 2018 (3.3 percent of GDP) and 2019 (2.1 percent), the rectifying finance law for 2020 in May forecast a deficit of 5 percent of GDP. The country has also moved up in the World Bank’s annual Doing business ranking, from 176th place in 2015 to 148th in 2019. The debt service to budget revenue ratio stands at 14.8 percent of GDP in 2020. Although public debt is sustainable (65.8 percent of GDP in 2020), the overall and external risk of debt distress remains high. The banking sector also remains at risk of liquidity shortages, despite the new instruments introduced by the Mauritanian Central Bank.
Economic activity is expected to rebound in 2021-2022 thanks to a resumption of foreign direct investment (FDI) and an increase in extractive production. Initially expected in 2022, the first revenues from the gas discovered off the coast may not be received until 2023.
Source: Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs

Bilateral Relations

Bilateral investment treaties

Work in process

Double taxation agreements

Work in process

Free trade agreements

Work in process

Leading sector for Swiss companies

Work in process

Indicators

 201620172018 E2019 E
GDP (in billions of USD) 4.69 e4.94 e5.20 5.24
GDP per capita (USD)1 235 e1 271 e1.3101.292
Growth rate1.8 e3.5 e2.55.2
Unemployment rate11.6611.8
Inflation rate1.52.33.83.9
Public debt (% of GDP)100.0196.57497.51881.138
Budget balance (% of GDP)-0.71 e-0.71 e-0.830.90
Current account balance (% of GDP)-15.1 e-14.4 e-16.-17.

(Sources FMI, Banque Mondiale)

Main customers

China, Italy, Spain
Source: IMF

Main suppliers

China, Netherlands, France, Spain
Source: IMF

Swiss exports to

Work in process

Exports of …. to Switzerland

Work in process

Swiss direct investment in

Work in process

The business climate

Work in process