Bilateral Relations between BD & Comoros

The Union of Comoros declared independence on 6 July 1975. Since Independence, Comoros has endured political instability through realized and attempted coups. In 1997, the islands of Ajnouran and Meheli declared independence from Comoros. In 1999, Military Chief Col. Azali Assoumani seized power of the entire government in a bloodless coup. In 2016 election he was re-elected and form the government for the second term.

Bangladesh and Comoros hold identical views on major international and regional issues and work in close cooperation in multilateral fora like the UN, NAM, OIC, IFAD and IORA. Despite commonalities and good potentials, the relations between the two countries could not flourish as per expectations. Bangladesh attaches importance to its relation with Comoros as a member OIC and other international organisations.

The Union of Comoros is one of the world’s poorest and smallest economies in the world. Low educational level of the labour force contributes to a subsistence level of economic activity and a heavy dependence on foreign grants and technical assistance. Agriculture, including fishing, hunting and forestry, accounts for about 50% of GDP.

 Despite agriculture’s importance to the economy, the country imports roughly 70% food products; rice, the main staple and other dried vegetables account for more than 25% of imports. Remittances from about 300000 Comorians contribute about 25% of the country’s GDP.

Comoros has limited opportunities for private commercial and industrial enterprises, poor health services, limited exports and a high population growth rate. The government, elected in mid-2016, has taken initiative to improve revenue mobilization, reduce expenditures, and improve electricity access, although the public sector wage bill remains one of the highest in sub-Saharan Africa. In mid-2017, Comoros joined the Southern African Development Community (SADC) with 15 other regional member states.

The Government of Comoros has been supportive to the plight of Rohingya Muslims, who fled into Bangladesh after being persecuted in their own land in August 2017. The Government of Comoros supported the Resolution on the Human Rights Situation in Myanmar in 2017 and 2018 in the 3rd Committee of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Mr. Souef Mohamed El Amine, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Union of Comoros visited Dhaka a number of times. In the recent past, he attended the OIC Foreign Ministerial Meeting in Dhaka and recently held 3rd IORA Ministerial Meeting on Blue Economy.

A few Comorian students are studying in Bangladesh under OIC scholarship.