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Madagascar seeks investment from South Africa

President Hery Rajaonarimampianina says there are opportunities for South Africa to invest in energy, infrastructure, tourism, and mining.

Malagasy President Hery Martial Rajaonarimampianina Rakotoarimanana has called upon South African businesses to invest in its energy, infrastructure, tourism, and mining sectors.

Speaking at the conclusion of a two-day conference aimed at strengthening trade relations between both countries, the President said there were compelling reasons for investors to look to Madagascar for opportunities.

The Madagascar Investors Conference was held in Pretoria, South Africa in June and saw participation from South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Department of International Relations and Cooperation and the Development Bank of Southern Africa.

The conference focused on Madagascar’s future development plans, including the Presidential Priority Projects, Madagascar’s National Development Plan, trade and investment opportunities, and presentations on the country’s political and economic framework.

President Rajaonarimampianina stressed that his country has resolved the debilitating political instability it has faced in the past. In 2009, Madagascar faced its third political uprising with a coup to oust President Marc Ravalomanana. Five years of deadlocks, sanctions, and pressure from the international community eventually gave way to democratic reform in 2013 with Rajaonarimampianina’s election.

According to South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa and Madagascar enjoy a mutual export/import relationship.

Said DTI spokesperson Sidwell Medupe in a press statement on the conference: “Madagascar’s exports to South Africa have seen a steady and consistent growth in the previous five years from approximately USD 45 million in 2012 to over USD 123 million 2016.”

South African imports make up an estimated 5.7 percent of Madagascar’s global export basket.

“Both countries are keen to facilitate investments to each other’s markets, hence the convening of the Madagascar Investors Conference for sharing of investment opportunities in Madagascar with the South African private sector,” said Medupe.

Meanwhile, President Rajaonarimampianina told delegates at the conference that improving the lives of Madagascar’s citizens was of sole importance in attracting foreign investment to its shores.

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