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PRESENTATION

The Republic of Madagascar is an island with a total area of: 587,040 sq. km (land: 581,540 sq. km water: 5,500 sq. km) located in Southern Africa; in the Indian Ocean, east of Mozambique Geographic coordinates: 20 00 S, 47 00 E

Coastline: 4,828 km

Population: 15,506,472 (July 2000); 16,979,744 (July 2003 est.) Population growth rate: 3.02% (2000); 3.03% (2003 est.)

Independence: from France: June 26, 1960
National holiday: Independence Day: June 26
Constitution: August 19, 1992

Capital-City: Antananarivo

Natural resources: graphite, chromite, coal, bauxite, salt, quartz, tar sands, semiprecious tones, mica, fish, hydropower

Agriculture productions: coffee, vanilla, sugarcane, cloves, cocoa, rice, cassava, beans, bananas, peanuts; livestock products

Industrial productions: meat processing, soap, breweries, tanneries, sugar, textiles, glassware, cement, automobile assembly plant, paper, petroleum, tourism.

Madagascar had been ruled during 15 years, from 1976 to 1991, by a soviet style one party government. That regime was toppled, in 1991, by antigovernment strikes and civil unrest movements; followed by an interim period of two years (1991-1993). President Albert Zafy took over in 1993. He exercised such a chaotic mandate that he lost the presidential ballot, in 1996, in favor of Didier Ratsiraka; the same man who was in charge during 1971-1991 period.

The mismanagement and erratic economic decisions of the soviet style period left Madagascar's economy in complete chaos and disorganization. Nowadays, Madagascar has to cope with glare lack of adequate infrastructure of all kinds: transportation networks, underfunded health and education facilities.

Agriculture, including fishing and forestry, is the driving force of the economy, accounting for 34% of GDP and contributing more than 70% to export earnings. However, no strategic plan has been devised, under the government which ruled after the independence, to systematically ripe to the maximum the potential of the sector.

Industry features textile manufacturing (transfer to Madagascar of textiles industry by Mauritius' investors in order to counterbalance high wages / salaries in their country); and the processing of agricultural products.

There are astounding growth potential in meat processing; food processing; paddy production and treatment into rice staple (before the independence, Madagascar was an exporter of rice; now rice import represents a sizable portion of the country's total imports); and in the fishing industry in particular.

Tourism sector is also a dormant hard currency's reservoir. It now accounts for one fourth of earnings originating from services; and is growing at 20% per year. The country is endowed with superb tourist scenery (Diego Suarez's region - Antsiranana - in the north of the country for instance) and could attract much more than the 98, 000 visitors of year 1999. In comparison, "tiny" Mauritius - located in the same region - had performed better by attracting more than 525,000 visitors during the same period.

Presidential ballot held during the first quarter of December 2001 ends up in confusion after president RATSIRAKA's government released poll figures leading to a second leg. The main opposition candidate, businessman Marc Ravalomanana, the mayor of Antananarivo, the Capital City, contested government's proclamation and claimed victory.

The rift reached a climax on February 22, 2002 when Marc Ravalomanana was declared the winner by a judge, who proclaimed that he gathered 52% of the vote against 35% for Ratsiraka. Ravalomanana had been then sworn in.

Finally on July 5, 2002 former President Didier Ratsiraka left Madagascar. He lost the diplomatic reconnaissance battle against Marc Ravalomanana's government, which is since that date the unique political authority in charge of the country.

Five months after grabbing the state power Marc Ravalomanana won a landslide victory in national parliament election held on December 15, 2002.

Marc Ravalomanana's party "J'aime Madagascar" (I Love Madagascar) and its allies won 132 of the 160 seats in parliament.

I Love Madagascar itself won 102 seats, an absolute majority in the National Assembly. The 28 remaining seats being spread between the former party (ARENA) of Didier Ratsiraka and several small parties regrouped in the National Alliance

Ravalomanana and J'aime Madagascar party have now a Dantean job ahead to reviving the economy shattered by six months of rampant civil war. From January 2002 to end of December 2002, the GNP growth rate had nose-dived from 5% per year to minus 12 %; and inflation is high at 12%. There is a lot of Catch Up to be done and huge potential to exporting infrastructure equipment for utilities and agribusiness.

For the latest on the evolution of the political situation in Madagascar you may visit following link.

MORE ON MADAGASCAR

1- Seasons With The Extraordinary Wildlife
And Culture of Madagascar
by Heather E. Heying
2- Birds of Madagascar
A Photographic Guide by Pete Morris
3- The Healing Trail
Essential Oils of Madagascar
by George M. Halpen
4- A Mineral And Gemstone Paradise
by Federicco Pezzota
5- D&B Export Guide
by D&B Digital Delivery In PDF
6- More News On Madagascar
From Yahoo!
Click to contact Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum

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SOME FIGURES


GNP:
US$ 2.15 billion (2001); 2.25 (2002); 2.75 (2003)
GNP-growth rate: 4.8% (2000); 5% (2001); -12.7% (2002); 9.6% (2003);
GNP-per capita: US$ 143 (2000); ) 161 (2003)

Click here for the difference between GNP and Parity Purchasing Power

GNP-composition by sector

  1. agriculture: 25%

  2. industry: 12%
  3. services: 63%

Exports: US$ 600 million (f.o.b., 1998); 700 million f.o.b. (2002)
Commodities: coffee 45%, vanilla 20%, cloves, shellfish, sugar, petroleum products
Exports - partners: France 34%, US 24.6%, Netherlands 6%, Germany 5.9%, Mauritius 4% (2002)


Imports: US$ 881 million (f.o.b., 1998); 985 million f.o.b. (2002 )
Commodities: intermediate manufactures 30%, capital goods 28%, petroleum 15%, consumer goods 14%, food 13%
Imports - partners: France 17.2%, Iran 11%, Mauritius 10.6%, Bahrain 9.4%, Hong Kong 6.9%, South Africa 5.9%, China 4.1% (2002)


FOR CURRENCY EQUIVALENCE CLICK HERE

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ENTRY POLICY / HEALTH POLICY


A passport and visa are required. Visas should be obtained in advance, although airport visas are available in Antananarivo, the capital. Travelers who opt to obtain an airport visa should expect delays upon arrival.

There is an airport departure tax. Travelers may obtain the latest information and details from the the nearest Malagasy Embassy or Consulate or from the Ministry of tourism below listed.

USA
Embassy of Madagascar

2374 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Tel: +(1) 202 2655525 / 6
Fax: +(1) 202 4837603
E-mail: Click here
Website URL: Click here
Canada
Embassy of Madagascar

649 Blair Road, Gloucester
Ottawa, Ontario K1J 7M4
Tel: +(1) 613 7447995
Fax: +(1) 613 744 2530
England
Consulate of Madagascar

16 Lanark Mansions, Pennard Road
London, W12 8DT
Tel: +(44) 181 7460133
Fax: +(44) 181 7460134

Ministry of Tourism
BP 610, Tsimbazaza, 101 Antananarivo
Tel: +(261) 2022 26298
Fax: +(261) 2022 26710

AIR-LINKING / TRANSSHIPPING


Many international air carriers, together with the national flag carrier - Air-Madagascar - service Antananarivo: the capital city: Air-France, South African Airways etc. There are plenty of connections to reaching neighboring countries by air transport.

Railways: total: 883 km narrow gauge: 883 km 1.000-m gauge (1994)

Ports and harbors: Antsiranana, Antsohimbondrona, Mahajanga, Toamasina, Toliara

Madagascar merchant marine: 13 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 24,819 GRT/34,173 DWT ships by type: cargo 7, chemical tanker 1, liquefied gas 1, petroleum tanker 2, roll-on/roll-off 2 (1999 est.) Airports: 133 (1999 est.)

INVESTOR CONTACTS
International Chamber of Commerce
Box 258 101 Antananarivo
Tel: +( 261) 20 22211
Fax: +(261) 20 22213
Funds For the Promotion of Private Business
Fonds d'Appui au Secteur Privé (FASP)
BP 8694
Antananarivo 101
Tel: +(261) 22 64355
Fax: +(261) 22 64354
Privatization Agency
Tel: +(261) 20 22666 /67
Fax: +(261) 20 22601
Website URL: Click here
E-Mail: Click here
Click here to review funding available to rebuild power generation system
ACCOMMODATION


Many areas in Madagascar are geared for international visitors and the bigger towns like Antananarivo, Toamasina and Nossi Bé have Western standard hotels.

To avoid additional rate charges, it is recommended that all foreign currency (travelers' checks and cash) be brought in US Dollars and French Francs. It can be exchanged at various banks and bureaux de change (hotels will not give the best rates available).

Credit cards are not readily accepted outside the bigger towns and only the bigger hotels accept them.

The import and export of foreign currency is unlimited, but must be declared on arrival. Travelers' must also prove that they spent at least FFR 2000 while in the country. Only Mg FR 2000 can be imported while the export of local currency is not allowed.
FOR CURRENCY EQUIVALENCE CLICK HERE

Le Colbert
Tel: +(261) 20 22202
Fax: +(261) 20 34012 / 25497
Tourist Board
La Maison du Tourisme
Place de l'Indépendance
BP 3224
101 Antananarivo
Tel: +(261) 20 2231007
Hôtel de France
Tel: +(261) 20 20293 / 21304
Telex: 22322
Hilton Madagascar
Rue Pierre Stibbe Anosy
Antananarivo
Tel:+(261) 20 2226060
Fax:+(261) 20 2226051
Website URL: Click here

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