A total of 1,257 firms, including 700 French SMEs, export French goods to Mauritania; the value of these exports in 2011 was €192.2 million, down 3% on 2010. France is Mauritania’s principal supplier, with a market share of 18.3%. France’s trade balance for 2011 showed a slight deficit of €1.8 million, due to a sharp fall in our exports of refined petroleum products (-69.1%) and cereals (-43,5%), coupled with a 9.2% increase in our purchases of iron ore (96% of all our imports). Mauritania is France’s sixth largest market in the WAEMU plus four zone.
Some 56 French firms, subsidiaries and representative offices are currently operating in Mauritania.
Current developments in the mining sector, including plans to expand operations at the Tasiast gold mine, are attracting more French firms to the country, with a number of projects under way or on the drawing board (Sos International, Aldelia, Connexion, Sade). France is Mauritania’s longest standing and biggest investor, but the massive inflow of investment, current and future, from major Canadian, Australian, Indian, Indonesian, Chinese, South African and Swiss mining firms looks set to bring about a rapid change in the situation.
Under the 2012 arrangement on officially supported export credits, Mauritania (a category 7 country, according to the OECD country risk classification) is ranked as one of the countries "open subject to terms": for operations involving private, non-sovereign or sovereign buyers but with co-financing from multilateral donors. Any policy should also be compatible with commitments under the Non-Concessional Borrowing Policy. The Coface portion of the export credit guarantee must not exceed a threshold of 1.4% of GDP.
Updated on 10.01.13