unctad.org | UNCTAD launches Trade and Development Strategy for Comoros
UNCTAD launches Trade and Development Strategy for Comoros
21 mars 2013
Flag of the Comoros
The strategy, developed in partnership with the Government of Comoros, focuses on achieving food self-sufficiency, improving the country's access to international markets, and finding the Comoros' place in regional markets.

The Trade and Development Strategy (TDS) also provides recommendations on tariff and trade policy, external resource mobilization, reorganization of internal markets, and further development of external financial resources, among other issues.

Trade and Development Strategies are prepared by UNCTAD experts at the request of developing-country governments, and are based on extensive consultations with government officials.

The Comoros strategy, to be released on 21 March 2013, is intended to spur pro-poor development. It contains a detailed analysis of the main macroeconomic and trade-related causes that have hampered the country's economic progress and limited its potential to diversify away from its three main exports of vanilla, ylang ylang and cloves.

The document analyses the rapidly worsening balance-of-payments situation of Comoros, but finds no statistical evidence of the balance of payments constraining growth, largely because of major inflows of remittances from Comorans working abroad.

It also recommends steps related to (a) identifying promising industries that may contribute to expanded economic growth; (b) harmonizing tariff codes on the way to a common external tariff; and (c) setting plans to benefit from the country's membership in such regional groups as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and the Indian Ocean Commission.

The TDS represents the first of three steps towards a full-fledged trade policy entirely "owned" by the national Government, as recommended by the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness.

The second step consists of endorsing the recommendations contained in the TDS. This process is carried out during a TDS "validation workshop", with UNCTAD playing the role of facilitator. Prior to the validation workshop, a training course on trade and statistics is held. The course is intended to ensure that relevant technical assistance will have long-lasting benefits.

The third step is the launch of the trade policy via an official law.


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