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Posted on: April 21, 2020


The final training and validation workshop of the support programme "Accession of Comoros to the WTO and implementation of the regional EPA" was organised in Moroni from 4 to 6 March 2020. It brought together some 40 stakeholders representing ministries and agencies, civil society and the private sector also to review the deliverables produced by the Tradecom II project experts.

The training and validation workshop was the third held in Moroni since the start of the implementation of this support programme. It follows a first training and capacity building workshop on trade policy (2-4 October 2019) and a second one devoted to the topics covered by the EPA negotiations between the European Union and the Eastern and Southern African (ESA) States (7-9 January 2020).

The objective of the workshop was to provide a multi-stakeholder exchange space for the presentation, discussion and validation of the documents resulting from the work carried out within the framework of the support programme.

More specifically, the objectives were the following:

  • To present the main deliverables planned for the support programme;
  • To make a general review of the legislative and regulatory texts prepared and submitted to the beneficiary;
  • To assess the actions carried out to date and measure the level of compliance with the commitments made within the framework of the support programme;
  • To identify the remaining measures/actions and prospects towards accession to the WTO.

The Director General of Economy and Trade was pleased that the support programme "Accession of Comoros to the WTO and implementation of the regional EPA" was carried through to its conclusion under excellent conditions. On behalf of the Government of the Union of the Comoros, he thanked the European Union for the support provided to the Comoros through the Tradecom II Programme and congratulated the consultants and Comorian stakeholders: the former for the quality of the documents produced and the training provided, and the latter for the commitment and willingness they had shown since the beginning of the implementation of this support programme.

Part of the Workshop was devoted to the preparation of the fifth meeting of the working group scheduled for April 2020 in Geneva, as well as to the participation of the Union of the Comoros in the twelfth WTO Conference and the post-accession phase in general.

The main deliverables presented during the workshop are as follows:

  • Proposals for legislative and regulatory reforms;
  • The plan of legislative action and compliance with the WTO agreements;
  • The state of play in the negotiation and implementation of the EPA in the Comoros;
  • Proposals for the introduction of a system of exemption from customs duties and taxes;
  • The proposal to migrate to a domestic tax regime;
  • The assessment of adjustment related to the implementation of the EPA;
  • The proposal for an adjustment programme for non-asymmetrical trade opening with the EU.

At the end of the proceedings, the Comorian stakeholders who took part in the workshop recognized the timeliness of the meeting which, in their view, provided a useful space for open and inclusive exchanges between the members of the National Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC). 

These discussions focused both on the results produced under this support programme, but also on the remaining challenges that need to be urgently addressed in order to enable the Union of the Comoros to complete its accession to the WTO and implement the EU-ESA iEPA under the most favourable conditions.

Programme funded by European Union at the request of the Organisation of African Caribbean and Pacific States - Implemented by AESA CONSORTIUM