The adoption of a new constitution in 1991 was accompanied by the beginnings of economic reform in Mauritania. In 2002, all legislation governing economic activity was rationalized to make it more straightforward. This is reflected in a sustained economic growth of around 5%. Mauritania also enjoys privileged access to the international market. Its exports to the United States tripled over 2001-2002.
The country´s geographic location between the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa, with 720 kms of coastline, makes it a strategic place to invest. Investors are welcome in all sectors of the economy. Opportunities are especially to be found in fisheries and mining. Mauritania´s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is reputed to contain the world´s richest fishery resources. In the mining sector, a plan was implemented in 1999 to enhance the country´s competitiveness. Opportunities can also be found in tourism and in agriculture, Mauritania having the advantage of being the tropical country closest to Europe. In tourism, it is worth noting that the number of tourists coming to the country doubled from 1999 to 2000.
Among the difficulties are a poorly qualified workforce, produced by a weak educational system, and a lack of adequate infrastructure, although much work is being done on roads and airports. Indeed, a huge airport construction programme has been launched to open up several regions of the country. Growth can be expected to be steady and the prospects of additional investment promising if political conditions remain stable.
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