WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala congratulated Comoros for successfully completing the technical work on its accession. “It has been 17 years since you filed your initial application for WTO membership, and it is now firmly within your reach. I would like to pay tribute to President [Azali] Assoumani and the country's political leadership who have provided invaluable support for the accession effort since the Working Party first met in 2016. I should also acknowledge the tremendous work done by the country's negotiators and technical experts,” she said.

DG Okonjo-Iweala emphasized the importance of LDCs joining the organization, particularly as it has been more than eight years since the conclusion of a Working Party's mandate (the accession of Afghanistan) — the longest gap in WTO history. “I hope that, in the future, we can do better and move faster, as 22 countries are currently wanting to accede to the WTO.”

She stressed that Comoros brings a great deal to the WTO. In addition to being a member of the African Union, the Indian Ocean state is a member of both the Francophonie and the Arab League. On the latter, she underlined the significance of WTO members welcoming Comoros as a new member at the next Ministerial Conference in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

DG Okonjo-Iweala said that as a future WTO member, Comoros will need to shift focus towards how best to leverage the benefits of membership. She committed the support of the WTO Secretariat in the critical early post-accession phase of membership and beyond. “Pursuing one's national interests and objectives at the WTO is not an easy task. Accession negotiators often joke that accession talks are tough, but membership can be even tougher,” she noted.

Kamaldini Souef, Minister for Post, Telecommunications and Digital Economy, and Head of the Delegation of Comoros, said: “Our accession to the WTO should not be seen as an end in itself, but rather as the starting point for another, even more ambitious project. That of modernising the financial management of our public administration to bring it into line with the commitments we made to join the WTO, and to make it an effective tool for development.”

“In this context, more than ever before, we are urgently seeking the technical and financial support of all our bilateral and multilateral partners to make our accession to the WTO a new and powerful lever for development with the objective of making Comoros an emerging country by 2030,” he added.

The Working Party Chair, Ambassador Omar Zniber of Morocco, conveyed to Comoros the congratulations of the entire membership. Following the conclusion of the 10th Working Party meeting, he said he would inform the Chair of the General Council, Ambassador Athaliah Molokomme of Botswana, that the package of texts relating to the accession of Comoros is ready to be presented to ministers at MC13.

Ambassador Zniber payed tribute to the Comoros delegation and the team of negotiators who worked over the years to make possible the country's strategic vision of WTO membership. “I can only admire the way in which Comoros, despite its relatively limited economic and administrative resources, has found ways to successfully complete the long and complex process of accession to the WTO, which began in 2008,” he said.

He added that MC13 will be an opportunity for Comoros to present its post-accession strategy on the implementation of its commitments and obligations in order to participate in the WTO's day-to-day work. He called on Comoros and members to start preparing for this next step. “To be able to take full advantage of the benefits of WTO membership, Comoros will need as much technical assistance and capacity building in the post-accession period as it did during accession.”

Members congratulated Comoros and underlined the importance of incorporating an additional LDC into the multilateral trading system, eight years after the most recent WTO accessions. Members noted that the diligent and systematic work done by Comoros, together with the political will shown by the Moroni authorities, showcase how the difficult process of WTO accession can be brought to a successful conclusion.


Comoros is a least-developed country in the Indian Ocean, with a population of approximately 820,000. The Government of the Union of the Comoros applied for accession to the WTO in February 2007, and the Working Party was established in October 2007. In October 2013, the country submitted its Memorandum on the Foreign Trade Regime. The first meeting of the Working Party on the Accession of the Union of the Comoros was held on 2 December 2016.

Find out more about the WTO accession negotiations of Comoros.

Learn how to how to become a member of the WTO here.




Photo gallery View Slideshow

Problems viewing this page? If so, please contact [email protected] giving details of the operating system and web browser you are using.