Mauritania is a Least Developed Country (LDC). The country has limited agrarian resources but contains extensive mineral deposits, most notably iron ore but also copper and gold. Mauritania’s coastal waters are among the world’s richest fishing grounds, and the country benefits from a fishing agreement with the European Union. As a result, Mauritania’s main source of foreign revenue comes from exporting fish and iron ore.
In 2010-2013, economic growth has been around 5% and it is expected to continue around the same rate in the next few years, mostly because of rising prices of copper, iron ore, and oil and increasing foreign direct investments in the mining and oil sectors. Despite this positive performance, the Mauritanian economy, still suffers from serious institutional weaknesses, continued trade deficit and the fragility of the economic growth. Major exports are iron Ore (46%), non-fillet frozen Fish (16%), and gold (11%). China, France, Spain, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates are the main trade partners.
Mauritania has been a member of the WTO since 1996. It is member of the League of Arab States and the Arab Maghreb Union. It is also part of the Cotonou Agreement. Mauritania also signed economic and commercial agreements with many Arab, African, Asian and European Countries. The country benefits from the Enhanced Integrated Framework, the Aid For Trade and other trade initiatives, but the benefits so far have been limited.