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Sino-Mauritania Relations
Mauritania and China have been maintaining steady bilateral relations since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1965. This special and mutual beneficial relation has stood the test of times.
Politically, the two countries support each other, under the framework of bilateral relations, FOCAC and China-Arab Cooperation Forum, the two sides have been always maintaining mutual cooperation and coordination and high degree of consistent position. Mauritania will never forget the help offered by Chinese government at the beginning when Mauritania stepped on the international stage. Despite the changes that happened in the world and in the two countries, Mauritania has always given China firm support on the major issue of the People¡¯s Republic of China such as One China Policy. Herein I¡¯m honored to say Mauritania is among the first African countries to recognize this position.
Mauritania is very glad to see the achievement and success made by China since its implementation of opening up and reform. This wise decision also reflected the wisdom of Chinese government and Chinese people.
The good relations between the two countries laid a firm foundation for cooperation in various fields including trade, agriculture, mining, fishery, health, especially infrastructure.
In trade aspect, the bilateral trade volume witnessed a great increase, in recent years; China gradually became the main supplier of various products in Mauritanian market. Many Chinese people engaged in business activities in prosperous areas of Mauritanian capital, were they are welcomed by the local people. Mauritanian people are always hospitable, especially to Chinese people.
In 2009, despite the global crisis, the bilateral trade volume reached US$1.096 billion, increased greatly compared with US$700 million in 2008.
The bilateral export volume was US$854 million.
The bilateral import volume was US$242 million.
In Agriculture, since 1968, Chinese agricultural experts have come to the rice field of M'Pouri¨¦ in Rosso (250 km south of Nouakchott) for guidance. They became the pioneer of rice irrigation technology in Mauritania.
In mining, SNIM has signed a seven years contract with China Minmetals Corporation; China will purchase about 1.5 million tons of ore from Mauritania every year. Therefore China also became the first importer of the products of SNIM. China¡¯s import accounted for 59.5% of the sales of the company¡¯s iron. Mauritania sold 6.1 million tons of iron to China. EU ranked second and purchased 2.4 million tons.
In fishery, the two countries signed many agreements. Recently, the two sides signed a convention concerning the establishment of a fish processing plant which costs US$100 million.
Regarding energy, China will guarantee the power supply in 24 villages of Mauritania by using solar energy.
Regarding medical treatment, over the past decades, the two countries abided by the cooperative agreement, the Chinese medical team continued to go to Mauritania to implement the two years medical aid. These teams worked in Public Health Research Center (China¡¯s aided project), National Medical Center and some hospitals. They provided medical and examination service and were welcomed and praised by mauritanian people. These medical teams were composed of experts in various fields including CT, ultrasound, orthopedics, epidemiology, gynecology, surgery, ophthalmology, food chemistry, water chemistry, bacteriology and virology.
In infrastructure, over the past decades, China built many important infrastructures related to economic and social development in our country. Up to now, the road, airport, communication and mobile projects, Parliament Mansion, Youth House, Olympic Stadium, Mauritania Science Research Institute, Culture House, Presidential Palace, Prime Minister¡¯s Office and Foreign Ministry Building, Friendship Hospital in Nouakchott, Campus of Nouakchott University, embody the cooperative fruit between the two countries. Among these buildings, The Autonomous Port of Nouakchott, known as Port of Friendship, can be called the example of construction. This port meets various size ships and ensures the daily supply of the country and even the neighboring countries. The significance of China-aided projects is self-evident. The construction capital of Autonomous Port of Nouakchott is US$ 300 million and is the second largest budget project in Africa. Now the length of the port extended to 904 meter from 509 meter. This port will be used to promote the economic integration of this region by supplying the domestic market and neighboring countries. It is worth mentioning that the project budget for the iron ore terminal in Nouakchott (Mauritania¡¯s economic capital) is US$184 million. Some Chinese companies paved many roads in our country. According to one of the agreements signed in April, China will build a asphalt road in ¡°Afout¡± region. This region is call poor triangle due to the difficult access in rainy season. The US$ 80 million project will improve the present situation of this region.
China also implemented a series of poverty alleviation project. In December 2006, China signed an Interest-free Loan Agreement through which Mauritania borrowed 2.025 billion Ouguiya ( 1 US dollar=280 Ouguiya) for the poverty alleviation project. China positively provided emergent aid when Mauritania suffered natural disaster such as flood and locust invasion.
In educational field, because Chinese government offers scholarship, so many Mauritanian students accept higher education in China. China will also provide support for the construction of a comprehensive university in Nouakchott.
In the fields of youth and sports, Nouakchott Olympic Stadium built by China is the largest one in Mauritania. Under the cultural exchanges framework, Chinese folk artists and arts group pay regular visit to Mauritania.
The year 2010 ended on a high note, because of the Joint Commission of Cooperation between China and Mauritania, held its 2nd session, 22 years after the first. Indeed, a high Mauritanian delegation led by HEMr. Sidi Ould Tah, Minister of Economic Affairs and Development and includes, in addition HEMr. BAL Mohamed El Habib, Ambassador of Mauritania to China, HEMr. Yahya Ould Hademine, the Minister of Equipment and Transport and HEMr. Sidi Mohamed Ould RAISS, Governor of the Central Bank of Mauritania, has taken part in this 2nd session, which held in Beijing from December 27, 2010 to January 1st , 2011.
After the meeting, the Chinese Government has decided to grant the Mauritanian government donated 60 million RMB yuan and an interest free loan of RMB 60 million yuan to finance projects of economic and technical cooperation agreed by both Parties. At the same time, the Chinese Government has agreed to grant the Mauritanian government preferential loans of 583 million yuan RMB for the project of construction of roads in the Aftout area. Related agreements were signed by both parties.
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