WTO accession
In progress
Population
753,943
Per capita growth rate (%)
2.1
WB Ease of Doing Business rank
159
Share of international non-oil trade (%)
0.77
Value of non-oil goods traded (in US$ million)
18
Logistics performance Index (LPI)
2.45
2011 data - Sources: UNCTAD, World Bank, WTO, UN Comtrade

Comoros undertook a Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS) which was validated in December 2007. Subsequently, Comoros implemented a Window II project that aimed to enhance the capacities of trade and investment support services, in order to create a conducive environment for private sector development. This project was launched in 2008 with four components, including; (i) enhancement of trade and investment support institutions; (ii) enhancement of the Comoros tourism strategy and policy; (iii) tourism policy; and (iv) enhancement of the competitiveness of the Comorian economy. The project received technical assistance from ITC, UNCTAD and UNDP.

Comoros' 2007 DTIS Action Matrix was also integrated into Comoros' Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy Paper (PRGSP) 2009-2014.

Description of the projects (objectives and interventions)

Under the EIF, Comoros' Tier 1 support to National Implementation Arrangements (NIAs) project has been under implementation since March 2011 with UNDP as Main Implementing Entity (MIE). The project aims to develop and reinforce existing institutional capacities for the formulation and implementation of trade strategies and their incorporation into national development plans; supporting aid coordination; and the implementation of the DTIS Action Matrix either through institutional reforms, EIF Tier 2 projects or initiatives and projects financed and implemented by bilateral and/or multilateral partners.

To ensure programme continuity, the Board approved on 30 May 2014, Comoros' request for Tier 1 Phase 2 project extension.

Comoros' DTIS Update (DTISU) was kick-started in November 2013 with the initial approval of funds from the EIF Board. Comoros is working with UNDP to update the 2007 DTIS, looking at deepening the diagnostic and defining the trade priorities of Comoros within key sectors, as well as highlighting the new challenges linked with integrating into the global economy, including from a regional and multilateral perspective. 

In partnership with the ITC as the MIE, Comoros is implementing a Tier 2 project to improve the competitiveness of three export sectors (vanilla, ylang-ylang and clove) through strengthening institutional and technical capacities of producers and exporters to play a more active role in the commercialization of their products on international markets and take better advantage of international trade benefits.

Main progresses to date

Comoros has made use of the existing EIF structures and tools including the DTIS and its Action Matrix of priority areas to address national supply‐side challenges to trade that are critical to its integration into the multilateral trading system. Comoros' DTIS and Action Matrix have provided the groundwork for trade mainstreaming in Comoros, with the validated DTIS in 2007 reflected in Comoros' PRGSP, which has also served as a baseline for implementing trade‐related priorities to address national supply‐side challenges.

Comoros is one of the first EIF Countries to have developed and validated a Medium Term Programme (MTP) on Aid for Trade (AfT) for 2012-2015 in 2012. The MTP stems from the DTIS, the PRGSP and the AfT resource mobilization strategy, and was used as the basic document for a Multi Donor Round Table on "Trade and Development in the Comoros". In preparation for the Multi Donor Round Table, Comoros presented its Vision 2015 at the UNCTAD XIII Conference in Doha in April 2012. This was later preceded by the Multi Donor Round Table on Aid for Trade held in Geneva in November 2012 to mobilize resources and donor support to implement priorities in the trade sector.

Through the EIF Tier 1 project, the NIU has focused its efforts on sensitization of stakeholders and strengthening institutional capacities related to trade, especially to support the coordination and implementation of the PRGSP, AfT programmes, WTO accession and regional integration as well as to mobilize stakeholder support to trade reform and the trade development agenda. As a result, a trade-related institutional capacity building plan was validated and implemented by the NIU in 2013.

A Trade Strategy has been developed and approved by Council of Ministers in 2013 and based on the PRGSP, it includes environment and gender issues as priorities alongside poverty reduction. A number of sectoral strategic documents have been issued and various cross-sectoral policies have also been elaborated to support and promote the trade and development agenda of Comoros. These include amongst others, a competition law, a business competitiveness policy, monetary policy, agricultural strategy and a National SPS strategy with support from STDF. With the evaluation of the PRGSP 2009-2014, the process of developing a new strategy (Strategie de Croissance Accélérée et de Developpement Durable) has been launched.

As part of the EIF Tier 1 institutional structures, Comoros has set up a NIU with high political support. The NSC is locally called the "National Development Trade Policy Forum" (Forum National pour le Développement et la Politique Commerciale - FNDPC) is in operation, with the Minister for Economic Affairs and Trade as the Chair of the NSC. The NSC also provides the platform for public-private dialogue with key engagement from private and public sectors as well as civil society.

Comoros' Tier 2 project approved by the EIF Board in January 2014 is implemented by the ITC and aims to create a better-structured and stronger cash crops sector, to consolidate and expand Comoros' position in the highly competitive vanilla and clove market and the ylang ylang niche market, and to increase the share of exports of the three products processed in the Union of Comoros.

Outlook

Comoros is working on developing a new strategy, Strategie de Croissance Accélérée et de Developpement Durable following the PRGSP 2009-2014. The EIF NIU are also working on developing a Tier 2 project on tourism and other sectors with support from UNDP.

Outcome 1: Sufficient Institutional and management capacity built in EIF countries to formulate and implement Trade related strategies & implementation plans
Outcome IndicatorBaseline2013201420152016
O1.1 Tier 1 ' Support to NIAs' project completed or under implementationNoYes
O1.2 EIF Country with complete, up-to-date validated DTIS Action MatricesYesNo
O1.3 Level of capacity of NIU to perform fiduciary programme management for Tier 1 projectN/AN/A
O1.4 Country with up-to date trade strategiesNoYes
O1.5 Country with quality trade strategyN/A1
O1.6 Country with quality trade strategy implementedN/A1
Outcome 2: EIF countries mainstream trade into their national development strategies and plans
Outcome IndicatorBaseline2013201420152016
O2.1 Trade in PRSP and/or National development strategies22
O2.2 Existence of productive sector strategies integrating the trade dimensionYesYes
O2.3 Functioning public/private consultation mechanismN/A3
Outcome 3: Coordinated delivery of trade related resources (funding, TA etc.) by donors & implementing agencies to implement country priorities following adoption of DTIS Action Matrix
Outcome IndicatorBaseline2013201420152016
O3.1 Availability of an annual rolling implementation overview integrating all trade-related government & donor-supported activities (including gender & environment)YesYes
O3.2 Frequency of government and donor consultations on trade-related matters31
O3.3 UN CEB Cluster activities based on DTIS Matrix priorities in EIF CountriesYesYes
O3.4 Country with joint donor initiatives in the trade area (such as need assessment; strategy formulations; programming; pooled funding; M&E; etc.)YesYes
Outcome 4: EIF Countries secure resources in support of initiatives that address DTIS Action Matrix priorities
Outcome IndicatorBaseline2013201420152016
O4.1 Country with implementation plan integrating DTIS/Action Matrix priorities and indicating financing needs to be met through ODAN/A1
O4.2 Country where a Government budget exists for implementation of its trade strategyNoNo
O4.4 Number of projects funded by donors related to the DTIS Action Matrix9N/A
O4.4.1 Amount of projects funded by donors related to the DTIS Action Matrix (Million USD)0N/A

Following on the 2007 diagnostic study, Comoros received earlier support from the Integrated Framework (IF) to take forward some of the DTIS recommendations including on the fish sector which was identified as a national key priority. A project on fish processing and improving methods of fish preservation was later rolled out in 2007‐2009, which helped to generate more incomes by 24% for women and support to youth employment from selling fresh fish to smoked fish (from 1200 Comorian francs for fresh fish to 5000 Comorian francs for smoked fish).

DTIS Update

Starting date / End date
05/12/2011
Approved Budget
256,791
Board Approval Date
25/01/2011
Disbursement
256,791
Expenditure Reported
256,791
MOU Approval Date
16/03/2011
MOU Expiry Date
30/06/2015
Phase
Completed

NIA Support - Phase 1

Starting date / End date
29/03/2011
Approved Budget
900,000
Board Approval Date
25/01/2011
Disbursement
900,000
Expenditure Reported
900,000
MOU Approval Date
16/03/2011
MOU Expiry Date
31/05/2014
Phase
Completed

NIA Support - Phase 2

Starting date / End date
20/06/2014
Approved Budget
600,000
Board Approval Date
02/06/2014
Disbursement
600,000
Expenditure Reported
470,062
MOU Approval Date
04/06/2014
MOU Expiry Date
31/08/2016
Phase
Implementation

Amélioration de la compétitivité des exportations des filières vanille, ylang ylang et girofle

Starting date / End date
30/09/2014
Approved Budget
3,527,131
Board Approval Date
10/01/2014
Disbursement
2,683,316
Expenditure Reported
1,267,437
MOU Approval Date
30/09/2014
MOU Expiry Date
31/10/2017
Phase
Implementation
Posted: 30/10/2015

Comoros: Enhancing trade opportunities to reduce poverty, create jobs and boost rural livelihoods

"Vanilla is our oil. I've been farming for the past 33 years and managed to meet all my family's needs. All my children know that they were fed and raised thanks to the vanilla farming." – Ibrahim Bacar, a vanilla farmer father of ten.

The Union of the Comoros is firmly committed to using trade as a lever for its national development. With a strong potential as a tourist destination, the Union of the Comoros faces island connectivity challenges that undermine its potential, and the Government is strongly taking forward the trade agenda to ensure that investments are made in infrastructure and facilities as well as in enhancing the Islands' trading opportunities.

With a high political leadership to the trade agenda and strong partners, including France as an active EIF Donor Facilitator and UNDP support, Comoros' trade and development agenda has been a national-led priority. As a result, Comoros has been one of the first EIF Countries to have developed and validated a Medium-term Programme (MTP) on Aid for Trade (AfT) for 2012-2015 in 2012. The MTP stems from the EIF‑supported Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS), the Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy Paper (PRGSP) and the AfT resource mobilization strategy and was used as the basic document for a Multi‑Donor Round Table on "Trade and Development in the Comoros".

The MTP's objective was to improve the business environment for the private sector, increase services to Small and Medium Enterprises, support the value chain for key exports, such as vanilla, ylang ylang and cloves, and the implementation of an eco-tourism development strategy. It also included support for the integration of Comoros into the Regional and Multilateral Trading Systems, paving the way for entry into the COMESA Free Trade Area and in advancing Comoros' accession to the WTO.

In Comoros, the EIF has been providing support to develop and reinforce existing institutional capacities for the formulation and implementation of trade strategies and their incorporation into national development plans; support to aid coordination; and the implementation of the DTIS Action Matrix. Through this support, the EIF National Implementation Unit (NIU) has focused its efforts on sensitizing stakeholders and strengthening institutional capacities related to trade, especially to support the coordination and implementation of the PRGSP, AfT programmes, WTO accession and regional integration, as well as to mobilize stakeholder support to trade reform and the trade development agenda. As a result, a trade-related institutional capacity‑building plan was validated in 2013 and has been implemented by the NIU since then. In 2014, more than 150 Comorians benefitted from capacity building in trade policy and on the WTO and accession‑related implications.

Through EIF support, Comoros has also worked with UNDP to update the 2007 DTIS, looking at deepening the diagnostic and defining the trade priorities of Comoros within key sectors, as well as highlighting the new challenges linked with integrating into the global economy, including from a regional and multilateral perspective. The 2015-2019 DTIS Update (DTISU) aims to reduce poverty at the national level through the improved use of trade, build institutional capacity for trade policy implementation, increase opportunities through regional and multilateral integration and improve the business climate, particularly through effective private sector development.

Moreover, in cooperation with France, a new MTP is being formulated on the basis of the DTISU and will be presented to donors at a National Round Table in March 2016. To support DTISU implementation, an online platform tracking AfT has also been set up with EIF support, for the Government, businesses and academia. Additionally, the DTISU also contains a detailed roadmap to strengthen the competiveness and the value addition of the traditional export products (cloves, vanilla and ylang ylang) and to develop the eco-tourism market in Comoros.

In partnership with UNDP and ITC, Comoros has been implementing an EIF project to improve the competitiveness of its aforementioned three traditional export sectors. The project looks at strengthening the institutional and technical capacities of producers and exporters to play a more active role in the commercialization of their products on international markets and to take better advantage of international trade benefits.

The vanilla, ylang-ylang and cloves project aims to create a better-structured and stronger cash crops sector, to consolidate and expand Comoros' position in the highly competitive vanilla and clove market and in the ylang ylang niche market and to increase the share of exports of the three products processed in the country. This will include improving the competitiveness of the products and their positioning in quality niche markets, with a specific branding and an internationally recognized label. For ylang ylang, the challenge is to help producers to come together and to share investments in a new and innovative stainless boiler heating mode, as well as to assure traceability along the value chain and ultimately quality.

Plans are now shaping up to establish cooperatives for the three sectors to facilitate access to banking, finance and microcredit to the different farmers, harvesters, distillers, collectors, processors and exporters all involved in the value chain. As a result, seven awareness‑building sessions have been organized for nearly 200 people involved in the sector's value chains. Future plans also include improving production practices, quality, product diversification and packaging and marketing, using innovative technologies, as well as promoting new business opportunities and markets.

Through the project, the Comorian Government is trying to end hunger and improve nutrition, since vanilla is of strategic importance to the economy of Comoros, as it ensures income for tens of thousands of farmers, harvesters, distillers, collectors, processors and exporters in the three Islands, including many living in poverty.

Posted: 08/05/2015

Comoros: A trade roadmap for national development  

 

The Government of the Union of the Comoros validated the updated Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS) on 30 April 2015 in Moroni, under the patronage of the Vice‑President in charge of trade, Mr Mohamed Ali Soilihi. The national validation was preceded by a round of preliminary validations in the three islands of Ngazidjia, Mohéli and Anjouan where local stakeholders discussed the findings and provided inputs that were integrated in the final documents.

The 2015‑2019 DTIS, which updates the conclusions of the 2007 study, aims to reduce poverty at national level through the improved use of trade, build institutional capacity for trade policy implementation, increase opportunities through regional and multilateral integration, and improve the business climate, particularly through effective private sector development.

"The main difference with the DTIS of 2007 – said Mr Sven Callebaut, lead consultant for the DTIS update exercise – is that, compared to 2007, a legislative framework now exists but needs to be implemented along clear priority lines. The update process has also been more inclusive with an increased participation of the private sector and of different line Ministries. Finally, and most importantly, the DTIS 2015-2019 comes with a detailed road map for action with proposals for strengthening the competiveness and the value addition of the traditional export products and developing the eco-tourism market in the Comoros ".

The priority actions of the DTIS roadmap include the following:

Careful and inclusive macroeconomic management allowing for the mobilization of resources to develop production sectors; reforms of the legal and institutional trade environment as part of the World Trade Organization (WTO) accession process.

A national investment policy that favours private investment in the production sector; the diversification and improved competitiveness of the Comorian economy, through the reduction of production costs and investment in quality and productivity; the introduction of measures provided for in the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA) and the bringing into line of sanitary and phytosanitary infrastructure with international standards.

The restructuring of cash crops (cloves, vanilla and ylang ylang) and their diversification allowing for access to niche markets; the revival of the fisheries and tourism sectors as drivers of the country's economic development.

"The Union of the Comoros integrated the recommendations of the 2007 DTIS into the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (GPRSP) for 2009. All the stakeholders have contributed to the content of the 2015 DTIS. This final document reflects the discussions held on 17 April in Ngazidja, on 23 April in Mohéli and on 25 April in Anjouan. We would like to congratulate all the stakeholders on their ownership of this fundamental tool ‑ one that is fundamental for the development of our country." stated the Vice‑President in charge of trade, Mr Mohamed Ali Soilihi.

A EIF Tier 2 project on Strengthening The Export Competiveness of the Vanilla, Ylang Ylang and Cloves sectors was launched in February 2015. Although the Comoros have the biggest share of the world's ylang-ylang market and the international demand for quality vanilla and cloves is huge, the national production is below potential, both in terms of quality and productivity. Yet, these cash crops are essential for uplifting communities out of poverty and for the development of the country. The project - implemented with the support of ITC and UNDP - aims to strengthen quality and productivity of the three products, structure the industry to facilitate the dialogue among the different players and support in – country value addition and diversification as well as the positioning in international markets.

Posted: 30/04/2015

The Government of the Union of the Comoros, in partnership with the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) Secretariat and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), validated the updated Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS) on 30 April 2015 in Moroni,  under the patronage of the Vice‑President in charge of trade, Mr Mohamed Ali Soilihi.

 

The Government of the Union of the Comoros, in partnership with the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) Secretariat and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), validated the updated Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS) on 30 April 2015 in Moroni,  under the patronage of the Vice‑President in charge of trade, Mr Mohamed Ali Soilihi.

DTIS 2015: Trade at the heart of development in the Comoros

The 2015‑2019 DTIS, which updates the conclusions of the 2007 study, aims to reduce poverty at national level through the improved use of trade, build institutional capacity for trade policy implementation, increase opportunities through regional and multilateral integration, and improve the business climate, particularly through effective private sector development.

The priority actions of the DTIS roadmap include the following:

‑        Careful and inclusive macroeconomic management allowing for the mobilization of resources to develop production sectors; reforms of the legal and institutional trade environment as part of the World Trade Organization (WTO) accession process.

‑        A national investment policy that favours private investment in the production sector; the diversification and improved competitiveness of the Comorian economy, through the reduction of production costs and investment in quality and productivity; the introduction of measures provided for in the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA) and the bringing into line of sanitary and phytosanitary infrastructure with international standards.

‑        The restructuring of cash crops and their diversification allowing for access to niche markets; the revival of the fisheries and tourism sectors as drivers of the country's economic development.

"The Union of the Comoros integrated the recommendations of the 2007 DTIS into the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (GPRSP) for 2009. All the stakeholders have contributed to the content of the 2015 DTIS. This final document reflects the discussions held on 17 April in Ngazidja, on 23 April in Mohéli and on 25 April in Anjouan. We would like to congratulate all the stakeholders on their ownership of this fundamental tool ‑ one that is fundamental for the development of our country.", stated the Vice‑President in charge of trade, Mr Mohamed Ali Soilihi.

 

 

 

Focal Point

Mr. Said BEN OUSSENI
Ministre délégué en charge du commerce
tbc
Moroni, Comoros
Tel: tbc
H.E.Mr. Djaffar Ahmed Said HASSANI
, Comoros

NIU Coordinator

Mr. Said Abdou SALIME
Projet d'Assistance à la Mise en Oeuvre du CIR
Moroni, Comoros
Tel: -

Donor Facilitator

M. Alexis MACLET
Embassy of France , Attaché Cooperation (SCAC)
Embassy of France
Boulevard de Strasbourg
Moroni, Comoros
Tel: +269 773 16 19

UNDP Contact

M. Ali ISSIMAIL
UNDP
, Comoros
Tel: -
M. Riad MEDDEB
Conseiller économique principal
UNDP
Maison des Nations Unies B.P. 648
Moroni, Comoros
Tel: +269-773-1558/59
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Edic 2015 : le commerce au cœur du développement des Comores
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