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Independent from France in 1960, Mauritania annexed the southern third of the former Spanish Sahara (now Western Sahara) in 1976, but relinquished it after three years of raids by the Polisario guerrilla front seeking independence for the territory. Opposition parties were legalized and a new constitution approved in 1991. Two multiparty presidential elections since then were widely seen as flawed, but October 2001 legislative and municipal elections were generally free and open. Mauritania remains, in reality, a one-party state. The country continues to experience ethnic tensions between its black minority population and the dominant Maur (Arab-Berber) populace.

Half the population still depends on agriculture and livestock for a livelihood, even though most of the nomads and many subsistence farmers were forced into the cities by recurrent droughts in the 1970s and 1980s. Mauritania has extensive deposits of iron ore, which account for half of total exports. The decline in world demand for this ore, however, has led to cutbacks in production. The nation's coastal waters are among the richest fishing areas in the world, but overexploitation by foreigners threatens this key source of revenue. The country's first deepwater port opened near Nouakchott in 1986. In the past, drought and economic mismanagement resulted in a buildup of foreign debt. In February, 2000, Mauritania qualified for debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative and in December 2001 received strong support from donor and lending countries at a triennial Consultative Group review. Mauritania withdrew its membership in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in 2000 and subsequently increased commercial ties with Arab Maghreb Union members Morocco and Tunisia, most notably in telecommunications. In 2001, exploratory oil wells in tracts 80 km offshore indicated potential viable extraction at current world oil prices. However, the refinery in Nouadhibou historically has not exceeded 20% of its distillation capacity, and it handled no crude in the year 2000. A new Investment Code approved in December 2001 improved the opportunities for direct foreign investment.

Jan 1 - New Year's Day
Jan 21* - Tabaski (Feast of the Sacrifice)
Feb 10* - Islamic New Year
Mar 8 - Women's Day
Apr 21* - Mouloud (Prophet's Birthday)
May 1 - Labour Day
May 25 - African Liberation Day (Anniversary of the OAU's Foundation)
Jul 10 - Armed Forces Day
Nov 14-16* - Korit (End of Ramadan)
Nov 28 - Independence Day

Ps: Muslim festivals(*) are timed according to local sightings of various phases of the moon and the dates given above are approximations.

Phone Codes

Country Code: 222
There are no area codes


Market Research

CIA - The World Factbook - Islamic Republic of Mauritania
This website indicates a wide range of detail information about Mauritania by introducing under 8 different fields as its geography, people, government, economy, communications, transportation, military, transnational issues.

About Mauritania
There is available to find out Mauritania's general outlook on the issues of its social and business profile, passport/visa, money, accommodation, government, duty free, health and so forth.

Mauritania Business
Mbendi serves as business oriented directory providing an ultimate African Business Source for the potential investors seeking new business opportunities in Mauritania including the list of industries for Mauritania.

Business Directory - Mauritania
Wow-directory offers business resources and services by creating cross-referenced categories in business opportunities for Mauritania as business to business, classifieds, cooperatives, directories, organizations & trade.

Doing Business in Mauritania
World Bank represents a snapshot of the business climate in Mauritania by identifying specific regulations and policies that encourage or discourage investment, productivity, and growth related to Mauritania.

U.S. Department of State: Country Commercial Guide: Mauritania
The country commercial reports are prepared annually by U.S. Embassies with the assistance of several U.S. Government agencies that basically offers a comprehensive outlook at Mauritanian commercial environments, using economic, political, and market analysis.

Business in Mauritania
This website provides an extensive information gateway for Mauritania in terms of doing business with Eritrea, legal guides to establishing business in Mauritania and so forth.

Business Opportunities - Mauritania
This website supplies cross-referenced categories in business opportunities of Mauritania under by affiliate programs, communication, franchises and MLM & network marketing.

Mauritania News
There is available to find out Mauritania business, economic and political news sponsored by

Mauritania - INDEX
There is available to find out a list of sites were you can expect to find specific information about Mauritania when searching their database on the word "Mauritania".

U.S. Department of State - Bureau of Consular Affairs - For Mauritania
U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs creates a wide range of research named as Consular Information Sheet about Mauritania in terms of analyzing its social, political, cultural & economic environments.

World Trade Organization(WTO) : Mauritania
World Trade Organization(WTO) supplies the trade policy reviews of republic of Mauritania in order to display the recent economic and business developments realized after introducing the economic improvement packages by WTO.

Trade Information

Mauritania Chamber of Commerce & Industry
There is available to get information about Mauritania Chamber of Commerce's contact address.

Embassy Listings For Mauritania
There are listed the embassies of Islamic Repulic of Mauritania including the embassies' contact information.

Mauritania Government Online
It displays the structure of Mauritanian government by looking at its national institutions, political units, branches, ministries and so forth in details.

Selection of Websites - For Mauritania
Export Services creates a list of useful institutions, organizations, agencies and so forth related to export & business in Mauritania by providing contact information of the institutions, as well.

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