Banking supervision has been strengthened during the 1990s to encourage bank solvency and the stability of local currency (with the support of the World Bank and the IMF) but interest rates have discouraged private investment. The government pursues price stability through fiscal and monetary restraint, promotes private credit agencies and institutional reform, encourages domestic and foreign investment, and encourages poverty reduction through higher wages. The foreign exchange system was liberalized in the 1990s and currencies can be obtained freely, but the central bank fixes exchange
|Exchange rates: Mauritania|
|ouguiyas (UM) per US$1|
|SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2001 [ONLINE].|
rates through a basket of currencies of the principal trading partners. In 1998, the central bank introduced incentives to encourage fish exporters to bring back their foreign currency and change them for ouguiyas, increasing the availability of foreign currencies, mainly U.S. dollars and French francs, in the market.