Promoting fish exports from Least Developed Countries

27 July 2015

UNCTAD is to organize a training and capacity building Workshop in Moroni, Comoros, from 28 to 30 July 2015. The workshop is part of UNCTAD's project titled: Building the capacities of selected Least Developed Countries to upgrade and diversify their fish exports.

The project aims to strengthen institutional and human resources capacities of selected Least Developed Countries (LDCs), - namely Comoros, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Mozambique and Uganda - to upgrade and diversify their fish exports.

The ultimate output of the project — which is being implemented through the United Nations Development Account resources — is a manual on how to upgrade and diversify fish exports, including by meeting international food safety and health standards.

The training workshop, which will be organized at the technical and policy levels, has four broad objectives:

  1. Upgrading the technical knowledge and expertise of experts, practitioners and policy makers as well as other stakeholders in Comoros to overcome challenges posed by international standards on fish exports.

  2. Investigating how international standards, regulations and measures in the areas of fish and fishery products affect Comoros' exports and its international competitiveness in the sector.

  3. Sharing experiences and best practices in meeting international food safety standards.

  4. Recommending policy and strategies for implementation at the national and international levels to improve the technical capacities of the country to comply with international standards and diversify its exports.

Around 50 participants, both technical and policy level, are expected to attend the three-day workshop.

The technical level sessions will allow in-depth discussions on the problems posed by international standards.

The policy level meeting will focus on ways and means of formulating and implementing diversification policies and export promotion strategies, with a particular focus on the fish sector.

In sum, the meeting is expected to mobilize senior government officials and experts from relevant ministries (agriculture, fisheries, health and environment) and representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, fisheries associations and national standards office of the island country.

Fishing in comoros
Photo Credit: Chris Williams, Marine Photobank

Fishing is an important sector of the economy of Comoros, accounting for 10 percent of employment and 8 percent of GDP as well as a source of government revenue from fishing rights and other related fees.

The fishing sector is also a priority for the government as stipulated in the country's poverty reduction strategy paper. However, relative to other countries in the region, fishing in Comoros is underdeveloped largely dominated by artisanal and subsistence fishing but shows considerable promise for growth.

The capacity building workshop and the case study undertaken by UNCTAD in the context of the above-mentioned project will be critical in enabling Comoros to realize the development potential of its fishing sector.