About Us Bilateral relations with Comoros

                                  As on 21.10.2020


      Embassy of India
          Antananarivo

  India-Comoros Unclassified Bilateral brief

India established its diplomatic relations with the Union of Comoros in June 1976. Our Embassy in Antananarivo is concurrently accredited to Comoros. India and Comoros have always enjoyed close and friendly relations. Both the countries have similarities of view on regional and global issues. Comoros is a supporter of India’s permanent membership of the UNSC. India is looked upon as a role model of development in Comoros.

           

            EXIM Bank of India had offered a concessional credit of US$41.6 million in the year 2013 for setting up a power plant in Moroni and the same has been accepted by Comoros. An Agreement to implement the LOC has been signed and the foundation stone for the project, laid in July 2015. A consortium of BHEL and Indian company Overseas Infrastructure Alliance (OIA) Ltd. are the contractors of the project.

 

            President of the Union of Comoros, H.E. Mr. Azali Assoumani led a Comorian delegation to participate in the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance in New Delhi from March 10-12, 2018.

 

            Comoros joined IORA in November 2012 – a regional forum consisting of coastal countries bordering the Indian Ocean.

           

            In December 2012, Government of India provided US$ 100,000/- as assistance to Comoros for losses suffered on account of torrential rains in April 2012.  The Pan-African e-Network started its operations in Comoros in September 2010.

            The Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, H.E. Mr. Souef Mohamed El Amine resigned from his post on 29 July, 2020 and President Azali Assoumani appointed H.E. Mr. Dhoihir Dhoulkamal as the new Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, In-Charge of Diaspora of the Union of Comoros on 29 Sept, 2020. Two new Cabinet Ministers besides the Foreign Minister were also appointed. They were, H.E. Mr. Djae Ahamada Chanfi, Minister for Maritime and Airport Transport and H.E. Mr. Afretane Youssouf, Minister of Land Use Planning in charge of Land Affairs.

            A number of VVIP/High-Level visits from Comoros to India have taken place. These are as follows:

Sl. No.

Name of the Visitor

Date of visit

Purpose

1.

Mr. Souef Mohamed El-Amine, Minister of External Relations & Cooperation

August 2004

Bilateral visit

2.

Mr. Ahmed Ben Said Djaffer Minister of External Relations & Cooperation

July 2006

Bilateral visit

3.

Mr. Ahmed Abdullah Mohamed Sambi, President of Comoros

4-8 November, 2007

To participate in the 4th International Conference on Federalism.

4.

Mr. Fahmi Said Ibrahim Minister of External Relations & Cooperation

18-19 February 2011

To attend the LDCs Conference

5.

Mr. Mohamed Issimail Minister for National Education

01-02 March 2012

To participate in India-Africa Science & Technology Ministerial Meeting

6.

Mr. Mohamed Bakri Ben Abdoulafatah Charif, Minister of External Relations & Cooperation

02 November 2012

To participate in the Council of Ministers Meeting of Indian Ocean Rim-Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC)

7.

Mr. Mohamed Ali Soilihi Vice President in-charge of Finance Ministry

21-23 February 2013

To sign Agreement with EXIM Bank for grant of US$ 41.6 million LOC

8.

Mr. Mohamed Ali Soilihi Vice President in-charge of Finance Ministry

21-23 October 2015

4t h India Africa Trade Ministers Meeting (IATM)

9.

Dr.Ikililou Dhoinine, President of Comoros

23-29 October 2015

IAFS III Summit

10.

Dr.Abdulkarim Mohamed, Minister of Foreign Affairs

January 2016

Ist India Arab League Ministerial Conference, Manama

11.

Mr.Azali Assoumani, President

10-12 March 2018

Led 16-member delegation including Foreign Minister El-Souef Amine for the Founding Conference, ISA, New Delhi

12.

Mr. Moustadroine Abdou, Minister of Energy, Agriculture, Fisheries & Environment

3 October, 2018.

Led the Comorian delegation in the First General Assembly meeting of the International Solar Alliance member countries in New Delhi


Bilateral Visits from India to Comoros

Former Minister of Science & Technology,       Mr. Y.S. Chowdary visited Comoros as Special Envoy of the Prime Minister of India on 25-26 August, 2015.

Hon’ble Vice-President of India visited Comoros from 10-12 October, 2019. Following six MoUs were signed during the visit of the Hon’ble Vice-President of India to Comoros from 10-12 October, 2019: 

Sl.

Name of the MoU / Agreement

1

MoU on Exemption of Visa Diplomatic and Official / Service Passport Holders

2

MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Arts & Culture

3

MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Defence

4

MoU for Cooperation in the Field of Health & Medicine

5

Protocol for Consultations between India and Comoros

6

MoU for Participation in the e-VBAB Network Project.

Following announcements of grants were made during the visit of the Hon’ble Vice-President of India (HVPI) to Comoros from 10-12 October, 2019:

 

1.            Medicines and medical equipment worth US$ 1 mn.

2.             Transport vehicles worth US$ 1 mn

3.             Interceptor Boats worth US$ 2 mn

4.             Supply of 1000 MT of rice.

 

       A Line of Credit for USD 20 mn for procurement of Boats was also announced during the visit of the Hon’ble Vice-President of India to Comoros from 10-12 October, 2019.

 

COVID-19: In response to the two requests received from the Government of Comoros for supply of medicines including 600mg Chloroquine and 250mg Azythromycin sufficient for treatment of 5000 patients and medical assistance in dealing with Covid-19 situation, during telephonic conversation between the Foreign Minister of Comoros and EAM, a 14-member Medical Assistance Team visited from India from 1 to 18 June, 2020 as India’s support to Comoros in fight against spread of Dengue and Covid-19 in the country. The medical team visited three islands of Comoros Anjouan, Moheli and Grand Comore and a consignment of medicines as relief assistance was also donated by India to Comoros in support of its fight against Covid-19 pandemic.

ITEC, ICCR& IAFS Scholarships – In the year 2018-19 out of 25 ITEC slots allotted to Comoros, 14were utilized and out of 9 ICCR scholarships only 1 was utilized. In 2019-20, out of 15 allotted ITEC slots, 13 have been utilized and 9 ICCR scholarships, 3 have been utilized.  In addition, this year 8 IAFS scholarships have also been utilized by Comoros.  The utilization on the part of Comoros remains low due to lack of knowledge of English as well as lack of awareness.  Details of last four years are as follows:


Sl.

No

Training programme/

Scholarship

Year (allotted and utilized)

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

Allotted

Utilized

Allotted

Utilized

Allotted

Utilized

Allotted

Utilized

 

ITEC

20

12

25

21

25

14

15

13

 

IAFS-II/III

 

4

-

11

--

 

--

8

 

CV Raman

-

-

-

-

--

 

--

--

 

FSI Course

-

-

1

1

1

 

--

--

 

ICCR General scholarship

9

3

9

1

9

1

9

3

Commercial Relations:

India is the second largest export destination of Comoros while it stands at fifth position as a source of import from Comoros. Comoros as an LDC, is also a beneficiary under GoIs Duty Free Tariff Preference scheme introduced in April 2008.

Balance of Trade – The total export and import figures of India with respect to Comoros available on Export-Import Data Bank of Department of Commerce, Government of India it is clear that India has a negative trade balance with Comoros since 2016-17. The trade data for the last five years is given below:

Bilateral Trade Figures (US Dollar Million)

 

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

 

India’s Export

17.75

17.01

20.78

29.62

19.29

18.88

India’s Import

 11.30

15.10

25.65

37.27

32.39

19.65

Total Trade

29.05

32.10

46.43

66.89

51.58

38.52



Source: DGFT

Main Items of Import and Export: The main items of import from Comoros to India are coffee, tea, mate, spices, iron, steel, copper, aluminum, electrical machinery, sound recorders and reproducers, television image and sound recorder, ships, boats, floating structures etc., and the main items of export from India to Comoros are meat of Bovine animals, cereals, textile articles, rags cotton, articles of apparel and clothing accessories not knitted or crocheted, nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances and parts thereof etc.

Cultural Relations

Due to small size of the Island and a tiny Indian Diaspora, there has not been significant exchange of cultural visits between the two countries. An ICCR-sponsored Indian Contemporary Dance Group visited Moroni and performed at the Comorian National Assembly Hall on 28 August, 2018. This was the first ever visit by an Indian dance group to Comoros. The event was attended by the Comorian President along with First Lady, the Foreign Minister, Speaker of the National Assembly as well as a few other Ministers and senior dignitaries. One Comorian national participated in recently held Kumbh Mela celebrations organised by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations from 21-24 March, 2019. Festival of India is planned in Comoros.

All six editions of International Day of Yoga have been celebrated in Moroni, Comoros to coincide with the worldwide celebrations of IDY. Persons from a cross section of Comorian society, which included local senior government dignitaries, members of diplomatic corps and Indian diaspora, participated in the event. This year, the International Day of Yoga was celebrated in Moroni on 21 June, 2020 on online platforms due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Connectivity: There is no change in the flight connections between India and Comoros for many years. No direct flights are available. Fast connections to India are via Kenya and Ethiopia.

Indian Community/PIO

The Indian Diaspora comprises of around 250 persons and majority of them are engaged in trade and business. The role played by the Indian community in the overall development of Comoros is highly appreciated at all levels. The Indian Diaspora has been playing significant role in promoting Indian culture and traditional values in Comoros. In recent years, a number of young professionals have started working for some foreign companies in Comoros.


Resources

www.eoiantananarivo.gov.in

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https://twitter.com/IndembTana

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