About Us Bilateral Exchanges with Madagascar

Unclassified
As in September 2022

Embassy of India
Antananarivo
India-Madagascar Unclassified Bilateral Brief

Madagascar is the largest and most populous island in the Indian Ocean. It is located in the South Western Indian Ocean.


Political: India’s maritime links with Madagascar date back to 18th century. The late nineteenth century and early years of the twentieth century witnessed steady increase in the number of persons from India in Madagascar. There are about 17,500 persons of Indian origin in Madagascar mostly from Gujarat. India opened a Consulate General in Antananarivo in 1954. Upon Madagascar gaining independence in 1960, the Consulate General was upgraded to an Embassy. 


2.    India and Madagascar enjoy cordial bilateral relations.  Madagascar generally supports India’s candidature in the multinational fora. On contentious issues, such as UNSC reforms, it has been following the African Union line.

3.    Support at other International bodies:  Apart from UNSC, in the recent past Madagascar has consistently supported India’s candidature for various international organizations such as UNSC non-permanent seat (2021-2022), India’s entry as an observer at the Indian Ocean Commission, India’s proposal to become an Observer at the Djibouti Code of Conduct among others. 


4.    Hon’ble Rashtrapatiji Shri Ram Nath Kovind visited Madagascar from 14-15 March, 2018.  This was a historic visit in a sense that no high-level visit from India had taken place earlier. During the visit two bilateral agreements in the field of Defence Cooperation and amendatory air services agreement were signed. Visits from Madagascar at Ministerial level have been taking place at regular intervals.


5.   Raisina Dialogue:  Hon'ble Foreign Minister of Madagascar H.E. Richard Randriamandrato visited India for the first time to participate in the 7th edition of Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi from 25-27 April 2022.During the visit, Hon’ble Minister interacted with Hon’ble Prime Minister of India and also met Hon’ble EAM of India. The issues discussed during the meeting included taking forward the development partnership between India and Madagascar with focus on food and health security, capability building and the digital domain. 

6.    Defence Cooperation: For the first time in the history of defence relations between India and Madagascar, a joint-patrolling of the Malagasy Exclusive Economic Zone and the PASSEX was done by INS Shardul and the Malagasy Naval Ship Trozona on 24 March 2021 at the port of Antsiranana. India enhanced ITEC Defence slots from 5 in 2017-18 to 22 in 2021-22 for Malagasy Defence and Naval Forces. 

7.    A 2-member delegation from the Indian naval forces visited the marine fusilier training centre in Diego, Antsiranana from 10-14 December, 2019 for a special commando training of the Malagasy armed forces and marine commandos.  A 5-member Indian Navy Mobile Training Team to train the Malagasy Special Forces imparted 14-days training to 50 trainees from the Malagasy side from 14-27 March 2021.

8.    Indian Naval Ship visits:

Year

No of Ships visited

Ship Visit

2006

One

INS “Mumbai” - A Four Day Goodwill Visit Toamasina port

2007

One

ICGS “Samar” – visit to Diego Suarez Port port

2008

One

INS “Talwar” – a four day visit to Diego Suarez port

2014

Four

INS “Mumbai”, INS “Talwar”, INS “Teg” and INS “Deepak” – visit to Antsiranana port 

2016

One

ICGS “Samarth” - visit to Antsiranana port 

2018

Four

INS “Trikand” and INS “Mumbai” - visited the port of Antsiranana and INS “Tarkash” and INS “Kolkata” - visited port of Toamasina

2019

Five

INS “Tir”, INS “Shardul”, INS “Sujata” and ICGS “Sarathi” - visited the port of Antsiranana and ICGS “Vikram” - visited the port of Toamasina

2020

Three

INS “Airavat” – visited the port of Antsiranana as part of Operation ‘Vanilla’ in February 2020.  INS Shardul visited the port of Antsiranana from 10-14 March, 2020.  INS Kesari visited the port of Antsiranana from 26-28 May, 2020.

2021

Two

INS Jalashwa visited the port of Antsiranana from 12-13 March, 2021.  From 22-25 March, 2021 INS Jalashwa visited the port of Ehoala. INS Shardul visited the port of Antsiranana from 21-24 March 2021.

9.    Defence delegation visits from Madagascar to India:

  1. Leiutenant Rakoto Herivelo Tino of Malagasy Navy participated in the 10th SAREX (Search and Rescue Exercise) organised by Indian Coast Guard from 26-28 August 2022 in Chennai.

  2. RAdm GA JacquyHonore, Chief of Malagasy Navy visited India to take part in the Goa Maritime Conclave from 7-9 November 2021.  

  3. Two senior Malagasy Naval officers participated in the online video conference of Goa Maritime Symposium from 11-13 May 2021.

  4. Minister of National Defence of Madagascar, Lt. General RAKOTONIRINA Léon Jean Richard led a 4-member delegation to participate in the Aero India 2021 and IOR Defence Ministers Conclave at Yelahanka, Bengaluru from 3-5 February, 2021. During the visit, the Malagasy Defence Minister held a bilateral meeting with Hon’ble Raksha Mantriji and discussed steps for furthering defence cooperation between the two countries.

  5. Minister of National Defence of Madagascar, Lt. General RAKOTONIRINA Léon Jean Richard led a 4-member delegation to participate in the DefExpo-2020 and first India-Africa Defence Ministers’ Conclave held in Lucknow from 4-7 February, 2020.  This was first ever visit by a Malagasy Defence Minister to India from Madagascar.  During the visit, the Malagasy Defence Minister held a bilateral meeting with Hon’ble Raksha Mantriji.

  6. Mr. Vaohavy Andriambelonarivo Andasy, Navy Chief of Madagascar visited India from 11-14 June, 2019 to take part in the Maritime Symposium at Regional Maritime Fusion Centre, Gurgaon, and had discussions with Indian Navy Chief.

10.    Bilateral Developmental Cooperation-Agriculture: Government of India had extended a concessional Line of Credit of US$ 25 million to Madagascar for raising productivity of rice and setting up of fertilizer plants and the agreement was signed in 2008 with Exim Bank of India. As per the agreement, 425 tractors and equipment & machinery for setting up bio seeds processing and fertilizer plants were supplied.An additional LOC of US$ 2.5 million for the implementation of the US$ 25 million LOC project was approved by Government of India in February 2017. However, the LOC was annulled on 6 December 2021 on the recommendations of the Inter-Ministerial Standing Committee Meeting.An LoC of $ 80.72 million was approved by the Government of India in June 2019 for the development of agriculture however the Malagasy side requested for a fresh LoC of US$ 140 million in place of LoC of $ 80.72 million. The US$ 80.72 million LOC was annulled on 6 December 2021 on the recommendations of the Inter-Ministerial Standing Committee Meeting and the request of new LOC is under consideration. The request for US$ 140 million LOC is under consideration of the Ministry.


11.    Centre for Geo-informatics Applications in Rural Development (CGARD): A Centre for Geo-informatics Applications in Rural Development (CGARD was jointly inaugurated by Hon’ble Rashtrapatiji and the Malagasy President on 14 March, 2018. The bilateral agreement for establishment of CGARD Centre which was signed in 2016 for a period of three years was extended till March 2021. Now, the Centre continues to function under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture of Madagascar. 

12.    International Solar Alliance: Madagascar has signed the International Solar Alliance Framework Agreement in Marrakech, Morocco in November 2016 and has ratified the instrument on 12 February 2018.  

13.     MOU between Prasar Bharti and ORTM: A memorandum of understanding (MOU) on cooperation and collaboration in broadcasting was signed on 10 May 2022 between the Office de la Radio et de la Télévision Malagasy (ORTM) and Prasar Bharati, the Indian public radio and television company. The MOU aims to exchange programs, explore the co-production of programs and training, through staff exchanges. Through this agreement, TVM will broadcast programs from Prasar Bharati's in-house productions in the areas of culture, education, science, entertainment, sports, news and other areas of mutual interest. The MoU was signed by Ambassador Abhay Kumar and Jean Yves Belalahy, Director General of ORTM.

14. The MoU for Participation in the e-VBAB Network Project was signed between India and Madagascar on 12 July 2022.

15. An MOU was signed between the Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Service, Ministry of External Affairs, Republic of India and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Madagascar on 12 September 2022 for training of diplomats between India and Madagascar.

16. An agreement was signed between India and Madagascar on 13 September 2022on the exemption of visa for the holders of diplomatic and service/official passports between India and Madagascar.

17.    Relief Assistance and Developmental Partnership:    

Year

Assistance by GOI to Madagascar

2013

Cash assistance of US$100,000/- as disaster relief during tropical cyclone ‘Haruna’

2015

Cash relief assistance of US$200,000/- for the victims of cyclone Chedza

2018

  1. A cash grant of US$ 2 million was handed over to the BNGRC (Natural Disaster Management Agency of Madagascar) as per the announcement made by Hon’bleRashtrapatiji on 14 March 2018.

  1. A donation of 1000 Metric Tonnes of Rice and consignment of approximately 100 tonnes of medicines for the drought victims of Southern Madagascar, ENAWO cyclone and Plague epidemic were given by GOI.

2020

  1. During ‘Operation Vanilla’ relief material was donated for the flood-affected regions of the northern region of Madagascar. Donation of 600 tonnes of rice in March, 2020 as human disaster and relief assistance (HADR) to Madagascar for help in dealing with the situation arisen due to the heavy floods in the Northern region of Madagascar.

  2. Donation of a consignment of medicines in May 2020 meant for treatment of Covid-19 as per the request received from the Malagasy side.

2021

  1. The cancer treatment radio therapy machine Bhabhatron-II given to Madagascar as grant as per the announcement made during the visit of Hon’ble Rashtrapatiji during March 2018 was installed in the HJRA hospital in Antananarivo. President Andry Rajoelina inaugurated the machine on 26 February, 2021

  2. Donation of 1000 MT of rice and 100,000 tablets of Hydroxychloroquine to Madagascar in March 2021 due to severe drought and famine situation in South Madagascar.

2022

The Mission set up a computer lab by donating 50 computers to the largest high school in Madagascar—LyceeModerne, Ampefiloha on 12 April 2022. The donation was made following the announcements made by the President of India, H.E. Mr. Ram Nath Kovind during his state visit to Madagascar in 2018.

2022

India donated 15000 bicycles to school children and teachers of Madagascar on 15 August 2022. The consignment was handed over by the Ambassador to H.E. Christian Ntsay, Hon’ble Prime Minister of Madagascar.

2022

On 7 September 2022, 5000 metric tonnes of rice was handed over to the President of Madagascar H.E. Andry Rajoelina by the Ambassador of India Shri Abhay Kumar to help Madagascar in dealing with the drought situation in South Madagascar.

18. Capacity Building Programmes: As part of South-South Cooperation, India's focus has been on capacity building, including training in highly skilled/technical fields which has been widely appreciated by the local population. 10 diplomats from Madagascar participated in the 1st Special Course for diplomats of the Indian Ocean Region at Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Service from 20 September - 1 October 2021. The utilization of the above scholarships is as per the detailed chart below:

Sl.

No

Scholarships

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22

2022-23

Allotted

Utilized

Allotted

Utilized

Allotted

Utilized

Allotted

Utilized

1

ITEC

107

60

-

-

-

-

 

0

2

e-ITEC

-

-

 

3

 

4

 

0

3

ITEC Defense Army

-

-

2

2

20

4

Nil

Nil

4

ITEC Defense Navy

5

0

3

0

2

2

27

4

5

ICCR      

12

7

23

17

20

18

18

18

 6

ilearn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14

19.  Madagascar became the 30th country to join the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) on 4 April 2022. As of April 2022, 30 members, consisting of 23 national governments and 7 organizations have joined CDRI. By becoming the member of CDRI, Madagascar will be able to work together with other member countries to promote resilient infrastructure and help in creating a safe, resilient and sustainable future globally.

20.    Connectivity: India and Madagascar are connected via Mauritius, Kenya, Ethiopia, Seychelles and Reunion Island. No direct flights are available. Air Madagascar has included a direct flight in the Mumbai-Antananarivo sector in its three-year plan.  Currently, due to Covid-19 pandemic situation, international flights are subject to restrictions and frequently changing protocol depending upon the health situation in the country.

21.    Bilateral Trade: Being a Least Developed Country, Madagascar is a beneficiary of India’s Duty-Free Preferential Tariff Scheme. Major products exported by India to Madagascar are cereals; mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; bituminous substances; mineral waxes; pharmaceutical products; cotton; sugars and sugar confectionery. Major products imported by India from Madagascar are coffee, tea, mate and spices; essential oils and resinoids, perfumery, cosmetic or toilet preparations, salt, sulphur, earths and stone, plastering materials, lime and cement; edible vegetables and certain roots and tubers. The bilateral trade figures for the last five years are as follows:


In millions and in US$

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22

India’s Export

196.38

301.73

324.22

351.26

India’s Import

293.11

119.24

80.14

144.06

Total Trade

489.49

420.97

404.36

495.31

Source:DGFT


22. Mission’s initiatives to promote Trade, Tourism and Technology

  1. The Embassy collaborated with Pharmaceuticals Exports Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil) and organized a webinar and virtual Business to Business meetings on opportunities in healthcare and pharmaceuticals on 14 December 2021.

  1. The Embassy organized a Tourism Promotion Event in the Embassy premises on 28 February 2022.  The event was attended the Director General, Ministry of Tourism of Madagascar and travel agents working in Antananarivo and local citizens.

  1. The Embassy organized a Trade Promotion Event on 24 March 2022 that saw the launch of India-Madagascar Chamber of Commerce in Antananarivo.

23. Indian investments: The major Indian investments by Indian companies were in the mining, oil and gas sectors, telecom sector and health sectors. Airtel is the main player in mobile telephony and Dr. Aggarwal's Eye Hospital in the health sector. Airtel bought Zain Madagascar mobile and internet service in June 2010. Tirupati Carbons & Chemicals (P) Ltd was granted licence to set up a Graphite processing facility in Brickaville in December 2015 and they have started operations in March 2019. M/s.Tata Sons Ltd have also made minor investment in mining sector.

24. Cultural and Educational Relations: 300 Sanskrit words have been documented in Malagasy language. The Malagasy epic of Ibonia resembles Ramayana in its plot structure. Recently, the Malagasy translation of Bhagavad Gita was provided to our representative in UNESCO. A street in the city centre is named after Mahatma Gandhi and a road connecting the town hall with the Embassy is named after Indira Gandhi. Malagasy people are familiar with Indian culture thanks to the presence of vibrant PIO community here. Indian TV channels are included in the cable TV package by the local cable operators. The cultural programmes organized by the Embassy in association with local organizations have been well attended. An ICCR-sponsored Contemporary Indian Dance group visited Madagascar in August 2018 and October 2019 and held performances in Antananarivo. The Mission celebrated the first ICCR Foundation Day on 9 April, 2019 which was attended by ICCR alumni and other distinguished guests from Malagasy side. Monthly literary event LaLitTana is organized regularly and is popular among the literary community. 17 editions of LaLit Tana have been organised so far. From June 2022, the Embassy started free Yoga and Hindi classes at its premises at Tsaralalana, Antananarivo. 57th ITEC Day was celebrated by the Embassy of India on 23 September 2021.H.E.Mrs. Mrs. Lalatiana Rakotondrazafy Andriatongarivo, Minister of Communication and Culture, was the Chief Guest at the event. A large number of ITEC alumni, and the members of Indian community actively participated in the event. The Embassy organized two musical concerts with renowned Indian violinist Dr. L. Subramaniam and singer Kavita Krishnamurti on 24 and 25 June 2022 in Madagascar. On 28 July 2022, Ambassador addressed a special session of the Malagasy Akademi, the National Academy of Madagascar and highlighted the age-old cultural ties between India and Madagascar, especially the link between Malagasy and Sanskrit.

A 13-member delegation from Madagascar participated in the Surajkund Mela from 1-16 February, 2020 in India.150 solar lamps were donated by the Government of India for high school students of Lycee Jean Joseph RABEARIVELO and promotion of import of renewable energy from India to Madagascar in February 2020.23 ICCR scholarships in top Indian universities such as Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University were granted to Madagascar for the academic year 2020-21. Mr. Naina Andriantsitohaina, the Mayor of Antananarivo visited India as an ICCR Distinguished Visitor from 7-15 November 2021. During the visit, he met Hon’ble Mayor of Mumbai City, Smt Kishori Pednekar.

25. Festival of India in Madagascar: The first ever Festival of India in Madagascar (sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Sangeet Natak Academy and ITDC) was organized in Antananarivo in 2015. A 2nd Festival of India in Madagascar has been approved by the Ministry of Culture, dates and programme for which are being worked out.

26. Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav: To mark the celebration of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, a commemorative postal stamp on Mahatma Gandhi was issued by Madagascar post on 2nd October 2019. The grand finale of the celebrations of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi was celebrated with inauguration of a 8kW Solar Power Plant at the Embassy building by the Malagasy Prime Minister Christian Ntsay. A Gandhi Katha “The Oceanic Gandhi” by Prof. Makarand Paranjape was also organised on this occasion. The Mission organised an online conversation with violin maestro Dr. L. Subramaniam and well-known singer, Kavita Krishnamurti on 19 October, 2020. The Mission organised a special exhibition on Indian Diaspora in Madagascar on 27 March, 2021 at the Chancery. It was inaugurated by H. E. Christian Ntsay, Hon'ble Prime Minister of Madagascar. An online illustrative talk on “Ancient Murals of India” was organized on 7 July 2021 by renowned film-maker, art-historian and photographer Benoy K Behl as a part of the celebrations of the 75 years of Independence of India. Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam was projected on the Embassy building and inscribed in the Chancery building in October 2021.The Embassy of India Antananarivo organized a special unveiling ceremony of the plaque of “VasudhaivaKutumbakam” in the Embassy premises on 10 March 2022 to mark the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav on the occasion of 75 years of India’s Independence. A Green Triangle named after Mahatma Gandhi was jointly inaugurated in Madagascar’s capital Antananarivo by Hon’ble Mayor of Antananarivo Mr. Naina Andriantsitohaina, and Ambassador on 16 March 2022 to mark the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations in Madagascar. A Center for Indian Diaspora in Madagascar titled ‘Indian Dhow’ was inaugurated on 29 July 2022 by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Madagascar H. E. Richard Randriamandrato, in presence of the Ambassador of India Abhay Kumar and the Chairman of Vision Madagascar Zouzar Bouka in Antananarivo. On 19 August 2022, a State Promotion Event for Manipur was organized by the Mission. A Manipuri dance group from Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy performed in Antananarivo, Madagascar. A special exhibition on the art, festivals, tourist sites, culture, cuisine and crafts of Manipur was also showcased at the event.

27. Cooperation in the Education Sector: On the request from the Malagasy Education Ministry for English language medium books in the subjects of English, Math and Science donation of 100,000 NCERT books for Malagasy schools was announced during the Hon’ble Rashtrapatiji’s visit on 14 March 2018. The books reached Madagascar in December 2019 and were handed over to the Government authorities on 14 January 2020. A street library was inaugurated at the Embassy of India Antananarivo on 21st January 2021 by the Minister of Communication and Culture. Further, deputation of English and IT teachers, grant assistance of computers and peripherals to University of Tulear (Southern Madagascar) and Lycee Moderne Ampefiloha School in Antananarivo were announced during the Hon’ble Rashtrapatiji’s visit to Madagascar on 14 March 2018. In compliance with the announcement, Ambassador donated the computers and other equipment to the University of Tulear on 20 April, 2018. Ambassador donated 50 computers to the largest high school in Madagascar—Lycee Moderne, Ampefiloha in April 2022. India donated 15000 bicycles to school children and teachers of Madagascar on 15 August 2022. The consignment was handed over by the Ambassador to H.E. Christian Ntsay, Hon’ble Prime Minister of Madagascar.

28. Indian Community/Diaspora: There are about 17,500 persons of Indian origin in Madagascar including approximately 2500 NRIs holding Indian passports. Most of them are in trading but some of them are also in the manufacturing and other businesses. Indian origin population constitutes less than 1% of the total population of approx. 25 million. In recent years a number of Indian professionals have been working in different companies, including multi-national companies in Madagascar. The role played by the Indian community and diaspora in economic development of Madagascar is appreciated at all levels. Some of the Indian Diaspora are quite influential and their contribution to the total GDP of Madagascar is substantial. The Indian Diaspora has been playing a significant role in preserving and promoting Indian culture and traditional values in Madagascar. A grand Hindu Temple was inaugurated in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar in July 2022.

29. International Day of Yoga (IDY): The Mission has successfully celebrated all the eight editions of International Day of Yoga. There has been appreciable increase in the participation by the Malagasy community in addition to international community present in Antananarivo. A Teacher of Indian Culture has been deployed under ICCR for promotion of Yoga in Madagascar. It will boost the increasing popularity of Yoga in Madagascar. Around 200 students of Lycee Moderne Ampefiloha, the largest high school in Madagascar performed in the Yoga session organized by the Mission on 15 June 2022.

 Visits from Madagascar


Sl.  No.

Name of the Visitor

Date of visit

Purpose

1.

Mr. Didier Ratsiraka, President

1980

Bilateral

2.

Mr. Didier Ratsiraka, President

1983

To participate in NAM Summit

3. 

Mr. Lila Hanitra  Ratsifandrihamanana,

Foreign Minister

2001

Bilateral

4.

Mr. Marcel Ranjeva, Foreign Minister

2005

Bilateral discussions

5.

Mr. Pierrot J. Rajaonarivelo,

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Nov 2012

To participate in the IOR-ARC Ministerial Meeting. Also met MoC Mrs. D. Purandeshwari

6.

President HeryRajaonarimampianina

Oct

2015

Led a 17-member delegation to New Delhi to participate in the 3rd IAFS.  The delegation, among others included, Spouse of the President, Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Agriculture and Industry and Private Sector Development. President and Foreign Minister had bilateral meetings with both PM and EAM where subjects of mutual interests were discussed.

7.

VaohavyAndriambelonarivoAndasy, Navy Chief of Madagascar visited India 

11-14 June, 2019

To take part in the Maritime Symposium at Regional Maritime Fusion Centre, Gurgaon, and had discussions with Indian Navy Chief.

8.

H.E.Major General Léon Jean Richard RAKOTONIRINA 
Minister of National Defence 
Republic of Madagascar and delegation

4-6 February, 2020

To participate in the DefExpo-2020 and India-Africa Defence Ministers’ Conclave

9. 

A 4-member delegation led by H.E.MajorGeneral Léon Jean Richard RAKOTONIRINA, Minister of National Defence,Republic of Madagascar

3-5 February, 2021

To participate in the Aero India 2021 and IOR Defence Ministers Conclave at Yelahanka, Bengaluru

10.

RAdm GA Jacquy Honore, Chief of Malagasy Navy

7-9 November 2021

To participate in the Goa Maritime Conclave 

11.

H.E. Mr. Naina Andriantsitohaina, Mayor of the Urban Municipality of Antananarivo

7-15 November 2021

To participate under the “Distinguished Visitor Programme” of ICCR

12. 

Hon'ble Foreign Minister of Madagascar H.E. Richard Randriamandrato 

25-27 April 2022

To participate in the 7th edition of Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi.

Visits from India

Sl. No.

Name of the Visitor

Date of visit

Purpose

1.

Shri Hari Kishore Singh,

Minister of State for External Affairs

1990

Bilateral

2.

Shri Ram Nath Kovind, Hon’ble President of India

14-15 March, 2018

State visit.



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