The union government of Comoros Islands says it is opened to business and investment after United States President George Bush officially named the country as a member of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The United States government reportedly expressed confidence in President Sambi’s administration, describing the country as a model for democracy in the region after the overthrow of former Anjouan leader Mohammed Bacar brought stability to the Islands.
Comoros President Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi who is currently on a state visit to the United States met US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other government officials with the aim of attracting international investments to his country. Ahmed Gaffar is the Comoros Islands’ foreign minister. He tells reporter Peter Clottey the government has put in place policies that encourage and protect investments.
“When we say that the Comoros Islands is opened for investment it is true because since we were elected in 2006, the president is trying to show the entire world that the Comoros Islands is now open for not only diplomatic purposes, but also for business. I think you know that now that we are on the USA after President Bush declared the Comoros Islands is now in the AGOA. It is a good and important opportunity for us because it shows that the Comoros now has stability, and we are here for official visit to her Excellency Condoleezza Rice and other authorities. We are trying to show them that they can now come in the Comoros as our Arab partners from the gulf and others. You know we have a love of tourism potential and we would need a massive international investment in that sector,” Gaffar said.
He said the current Comoros Islands union government has put in place policies and other measures to not only attract local and international investors, but also to ensure those investments are protected.
“We began with the investment code that we have put in place as a government, and we are also trying to establish some facilities that would enhance our administrative procedures and we are all set to attract both international and local investments to the Comoros Islands,” he said.
Gaffar said although previous instabilities created a lack of trust among investors, things have changed and are now looking better.
“In the past it was very difficult for our partners, especially for business to have confidence in the country because we had a lot of political problems. But now we have solved all those political problems, especially during the Anjouan crisis,” Gaffar pointed out.
He said the government appreciates the efforts by friendly countries to ensure peace and stability prevail in the Comoros Islands.
“This crisis was very bad and it blocked the country for one year. And his Excellency President Sambi tried to see whether the international community to help solve the crisis, and we had the support from the African Union, the Arab league, the Francophone, and even the United States they all helped us, and we made this operation in Anjouan. And it was a big success for us and with that we can say President Sambi made the right call in ensuring that peace and stability triumph in the country,” he said.
Gaffar reiterated that the country is ready to do business with its international investment partners.
“Now that peace and stability has retuned to the country, I don’t think there is any reason for anybody not to have confidence in investing in the country. And we are here in Washington, D.C. where we met the US authorities who told us that the Comoros is now a model for democracy. The country is strategically placed and we want to welcome all our business partners and we want to assure them that with this opportunity with AGOA they would enjoy many of our facilities and we would ensure their investments are secure.