Brazil’s Minister of Science and Technology, Eduardo Campos, met last Monday, May 2, with the President of Mauritania, Maaouya Ould Sid’Ahmed Taya, in Nouakshot, the capital of the Arab country, to discuss cooperation agreements between both countries in the scientific area.
The main reason for the visit was the beginning of a process for cooperation in research and technology turned mainly to oil exploration and the construction of pipelines in the Arab country. The agreement should also include cooperation in agricultural technology, extraction of iron ore, diamonds and phosphates.
Apart from discussing cooperation agreements, the minister also had the objective of personally inviting the president of the Arab country to participate in the summit between Arab and South American heads of state to take place on May 10 and 11 in Brazilian capital Brasília.
Mauritania is part of the Maghreb, the group of Arab countries located in North Africa. The GDP of the Arab country totalled US$ 1.1 billion last year and fish and iron ore were the main products exported by Mauritania. Among the natural resources found in the country are copper, phosphates and plaster.
In 2004, Brazilian exports to the country totalled US$ 39.6 million, against US$ 19.4 million in 2003, an increase of 104%. In the previous years, shipping was no greater than US$ 5 million. Sugar is the main product in the trade basket, followed by powdered milk and axels for trains.