2016 Index of Economic Freedom

Comoros

overall score52.4
world rank141
Rule of Law

Property Rights30.0

Freedom From Corruption26.0

Limited Government

Government Spending81.0

Fiscal Freedom64.5

Regulatory Efficiency

Business Freedom49.6

Labor Freedom51.0

Monetary Freedom79.4

Open Markets

Trade Freedom72.0

Investment Freedom40.0

Financial Freedom30.0

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Quick Facts
  • Population:
    • 0.8 million
  • GDP (PPP):
    • $1.2 billion
    • 3.3% growth
    • 2.8% 5-year compound annual growth
    • $1,548 per capita
  • Unemployment:
    • 6.5%
  • Inflation (CPI):
    • 2.9%
  • FDI Inflow:
    • $14.0 million
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Comoros contrasts sharply with other African island nations that have found a path to modernization and sustainable development by advancing economic freedom. Despite some progress, the public sector remains dominant and lacks transparency. An overbearing regulatory framework and poor access to credit deter entrepreneurial activity and private-sector development.

Economic Freedom Snapshot

  • 2016 Economic Freedom Score: 52.4 (up 0.3 point)
  • Economic Freedom Status: Mostly Unfree
  • Global Ranking: 141st
  • Regional Ranking: 32nd in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Notable Successes: Monetary Freedom and Trade Freedom
  • Concerns: Rule of Law, Investment Freedom, and Financial Freedom
  • Overall Score Change Since 2012: +6.7

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Background

The three-island Union of the Comoros has experienced more than 20 coup attempts since independence in 1975, most recently in 2013. A 2001 constitution granted each island increased autonomy and stipulated that the presidency would rotate among the three islands. A 2009 referendum extended presidents’ terms from four to five years and increased the central government’s authority at the expense of local governments. The transfer of power to President Ikililou Dhoinine in 2011 was peaceful, and the next presidential election is scheduled for 2016. Although Comoros is a leading producer of ylang-ylang, cloves, and vanilla, its narrow export base and closed economy leave it vulnerable to external shocks. It also has poor transportation infrastructure. Comoros is heavily dependent on foreign aid and remittances.

Rule of LawView Methodology

Property Rights 30.0 Create a Graph using this measurement

Freedom From Corruption 26.0 Create a Graph using this measurement

Corruption is reported at all levels of government, including the judiciary, the civil service, and the police and security forces, and is driven in part by internal political disputes and competition over resources by the three island administrations. The judicial system, based on both sharia (Islamic) law and the French legal code, is relatively weak and subject to influence by the executive branch and other elites.

Limited GovernmentView Methodology

The top personal income tax rate is 30 percent, and the top corporate tax rate is 50 percent. Other taxes include a value-added tax and an insurance tax. The overall tax burden equals 12.1 percent of total domestic income. Government spending amounts to 25.2 percent of total domestic output. Government finance has been under pressure due to the growth in public-sector wages and salaries and the cost of legislative elections.

Regulatory EfficiencyView Methodology

The overall regulatory framework remains poor. Establishing a business costs more than the level of average annual income. Retail services are the largest source of employment, and most employment is informal. The government subsidizes state-owned water, electricity, and oil utilities and controls other prices.

Open MarketsView Methodology

Comoros has an average tariff rate of 6.5 percent. It is a member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, dedicated to “trade liberalization and customs co-operation.” The small, bank-dominated financial sector has recorded modest growth in recent years. With two new banks coming into operation, the banking sector has expanded, but many people and businesses still rely on informal lending.

Country's Score Over Time

Bar Graph of Comoros Economic Freedom Scores Over a Time Period

Country Comparisons

Bar Graphs comparing Comoros to other economic country groups Download Charts

Regional Ranking

rank country overall change
1Mauritius74.7-1.7
2Botswana71.11.3
3Cabo Verde66.50.1
4Rwanda63.1-1.7
5Ghana630.0
6Seychelles62.24.7
7South Africa61.9-0.7
8Namibia61.92.3
9Madagascar61.1-0.6
10Côte d'Ivoire 601.5
11Swaziland59.7-0.2
12Benin59.30.5
13Uganda59.3-0.4
14Burkina Faso59.10.5
15Gabon590.7
16Zambia58.80.1
17Tanzania58.51.0
18Senegal58.10.3
19Kenya57.51.9
20Nigeria57.51.9
21The Gambia57.1-0.4
22São Tomé and Príncipe 56.73.4
23Mali56.50.1
24Djibouti56-1.5
25Mauritania54.81.5
26Niger54.3-0.3
27Cameroon54.22.3
28Burundi53.90.2
29Togo53.60.6
30Guinea53.31.2
31Mozambique 53.2-1.6
32Comoros52.40.3
33Sierra Leone52.30.6
34Liberia52.2-0.5
35Guinea-Bissau51.8-0.2
36Malawi51.8-3.0
37Ethiopia51.50.0
38Lesotho50.61.0
39Angola48.91.0
40Democratic Republic of Congo46.41.4
41Chad46.30.4
42Central African Republic45.2-0.7
43Equatorial Guinea43.73.3
44Republic of Congo 42.80.1
45Eritrea42.73.8
46Zimbabwe38.20.6
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