Economy in Comoros

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Economy—overview: One of the world's poorest countries Comoros is made up of three islands that have inadequate transportation links a young and rapidly increasing population and few natural resources. The low educational level of the labor force contributes to a subsistence level of economic activity high unemployment and a heavy dependence on foreign grants and technical assistance. Agriculture including fishing hunting and forestry is the leading sector of the economy. It contributes 40% to GDP employs 80% of the labor force and provides most of the exports. The country is not self-sufficient in food production; rice the main staple accounts for the bulk of imports. The government is struggling to upgrade education and technical training to privatize commercial and industrial enterprises to improve health services to diversify exports to promote tourism and to reduce the high population growth rate. Continued foreign support is essential if the goal of 4% annual GDP growth is to be maintained in the late 1990s.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$400 million (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 3.5% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$685 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:

agriculture: 40%

industry: 14%

services: 46% (1996 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 3.5% (1996 est.)

Labor force:

total: 144 500 (1996 est.)

by occupation: agriculture 80% government 3%

Unemployment rate: 20% (1996 est.)

Budget:

revenues: $55 million

expenditures: $71 million including capital expenditures of $15 million (1995 est.)

Industries: tourism perfume distillation textiles furniture jewelry construction materials soft drinks

Industrial production growth rate: -6.5% (1989 est.)

Electricity—capacity: 9 750 kW (1996)

Electricity—production: 31 million kWh (1996)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 38 kWh (1996)

Agriculture—products: vanilla cloves perfume essences copra coconuts bananas cassava (tapioca)

Exports:

total value: $11.4 million (f.o.b. 1996 est.)

commodities: vanilla ylang-ylang cloves perfume oil copra

partners: France 54% Germany 18% US 18%

Imports:

total value: $70 million (f.o.b. 1996 est.)

commodities: rice and other foodstuffs consumer goods; petroleum products cement transport equipment

partners: France 60% South Africa 10% Kenya 5% Singapore 4%

Debt—external: $219 million (1996 est.)

Economic aid:

recipient: ODA $NA

Currency: 1 Comoran franc (CF) = 100 centimes

Exchange rates: Comoran francs (CF) per US$1—456.27 (January 1998) 437.75 (1997) 383.66 (1996) 374.36 (1995) 416.40 (1994) 283.16 (1993)

note: beginning 12 January 1994 the Comoran franc was devalued to 75 per French franc from 50 per French franc at which it had been fixed since 1948

Fiscal year: calendar year

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