INTERVIEW-Comoros targets over 3 pct growth in 2012 - chief

Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:09am GMT

* Sees 2012 inflation at 3.5 to 4 pct

* Banking sector, tourism to attract investments

* Gulf states providing financial assistance

By Martina Fuchs

DUBAI, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Comoros' economy may grow more than 3 percent in 2012, aided by the expansion of the fledgling banking sector and investments in tourism, its central bank governor said on Thursday.

"In 2011, we have a projection of 2.6 percent of real growth," Central Bank Governor Mze Abdou Mohamed Chanfiou told Reuters by telephone from the capital Moroni.

The economy of the Comoros, a group of four islands between Madagascar and southern Africa, relies heavily on agriculture and fishing. It is the world's largest producer of the essence ylang ylang, used in aromatherapy, and also exports vanilla and cloves.

"Next year, we are targeting economic growth of more than 3 percent... We are seeing a gradual improvement of economic growth," he said. Growth plunged to 0.8 percent in 2007 and 0.4 percent in 2008, but rebounded in 2009 following the global financial crisis.

In August, the International Monetary Fund predicted the economy would expand by a little over 2 percent this year, driven by an uptick in agricultural production.   Continued...

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