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Exporting Opportunities from the U.S. to Mauritania

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

Mauritania (known officially as the Islamic Republic of Mauritania), a country located in the Western part of North Africa, is considered a Least Developed Country (LDC) yet that hasn’t stopped it’s economy from having an annual growth rate of 5% over the past few years.

The capital and largest city is Nouakchott, located on the Atlantic coast, which is home to around one-third of the country’s 3.5 million people. The main seaport is Nouadhibou followed by Nouakchott and the main airport is Nouakchott International Airport (NKC) followed by Nouadhibou International Airport (NDB).


With a GDP of $4.158 billion, Mauritania’s economy has been driven by an abundance of natural resources, mainly in the mining (iron ore, gold and copper), oil and gas sector, and has experienced its economic growth thanks to high commodity prices. It is the second leading exporter of iron ore in Africa and also an exporter of gold and copper, which has driven a recent increase in exports from the U.S. Mauritania has considerable natural gas deposits offshore and also possesses some of the richest fish stocks in the world.

Political Climate

After a military coup in 2005 and again in 2008, the international community suspended most of its activities in Mauritania. The World Bank came back to Mauritania in September 2009, following elections that led to the formation of a national unity government and lifted international sanctions. In the past several years, Mauritania has enjoyed political stability since June 2014, when peaceful presidential elections took place.

Opportunities for U.S. Exporters

The United States was Mauritania’s largest import trading partner, accounting for nearly 24% of all of their imports. U.S. exports to Mauritania were $864,924,372 in 2014 according to GlobalEdge. The next 4 largest import trading partners for Mauritania are U.A.E., France, Belgium and China. The U.S.’s top exports to Mauritania were for 2013 were: Machinery ($96 million), Vehicles ($31 million), Mineral Fuel ($22 million), meat ($17 million). Mauritania was declared as AGOA eligible on December 23, 2009.

The top 10 commodities imported into Mauritania are Ships and Boats, Oil and Mineral Fuels, Industrial Machinery, Electrical Machinery, Motor Vehicles and Parts, Cereals, Iron and Steel, Tools & Cutlery, Dairy Products and Natural Minerals and Stones.

Mauritania’s International Agreements:

  • Member of the League of Arab States

  • Member of the Arab Maghreb Union

  • Member of the WTO since 1995

  • Signatory to the Cotonou Agreement

  • Enhanced Integrated Framework

  • WTO-OECD’s Aid for Trade Initiative

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