Mauritania is located in the north-west of the African continent on the Atlantic coast. In July 2009, Gen. Abdel Aziz won the Presidential elections and continues to be the Head of State of the country. Next Presidential elections are due in 2014.
Mauritanian Ministers of Economic Development and Rural Development had participated in the 9th CII EXIM-Bank Conclave which was held in New Delhi on 17-19 March, 2013. The visit of the Ministers helped in expediting matters related to the scope of projects under the first US$ 21.8 million Line of Credit to Mauritania extended by the Government of India in 2010.
President Aziz had also attended the Second India Africa Forum Summit in Addis Ababa on 24-25th May 2011. He met Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh during the Summit. Mauritanian President has already accepted an invitation from Dr. Singh to visit India, the logistics of which would be processed through Diplomatic channels.
There exists considerable potential for economic cooperation with Mauritania. Mauritania has large reserves of iron ore which are being mined by the national mining company SNIM and sold mainly to European and Chinese companies. The Mauritanian government has conveyed its eagerness to increase bilateral cooperation with India. In this connection, a high-level team from Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Ltd (KIOCL) visited Nouakchott from September 14-16, 2012 to explore the possibilities of iron ore extraction in Mauritania.
Earlier, in November 2010, for the first time, an Indian company called Archean Group formed a joint venture called M/s Bofal Indo Mining Company S.A along with the Govt. of Mauritania to commence commercial mining of phosphates in Mauritania.
Tata Group is exploring the possibility of starting a dealership for their vehicles in Mauritania. Few other private Indian groups have also been able to secure mining concessions in Mauritania.
Lines of credit
India has extended two lines of credit to Mauritania-US$ 15 million towards agro-industries and US$6.8 million towards a drinking water project. Under this programme, the President of Mauritania laid the foundation of the dairy plant and three collection centers worth US$11.3 million at Nema on August 13, 2012. The balance amount out of the total of US$ 21.8 million is proposed to be spent on acquisition of harvesters and agricutlural machinery by the Government of Mauritania.