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Ambassador’s speech on Trade Promotion Event

Posted on: March 24, 2022 | Back | Print

Good afternoon,

Ladies and Gentleman and my dear friends. 

    I thank you all for taking time out from your busy schedules and gracing us with your presence in an effort of the Embassy towards promoting trade cooperation between India and Madagascar. 

I would like to express my special gratitude to H.E. (chief guest) Mr. Richard Randriamandrato, Foreign Minister of Madagascar for taking time out of his busy schedule and gracing the occasion with his presence. 

India-Madagascar relations have been traditionally strong and cordial, on the bedrock of positive political, economic and cultural exchanges. Madagascar has over 27 million residents including around 17500 persons of Indian origin, which is a major factor fuelling mutual understanding and people-to-people exchanges. Since majority of Indians in Madagascar work in trade sector, I believe it is an important part of the overall relationship between the two countries.

 World trade has expanded rapidly over the past decades. Accordingly the Government of India has been taking various steps towards boosting its trade with the rest of the world by adopting policies and procedures which would help to increase and facilitate both exports and imports with other countries of the world. 

Bilateral trade in 2021-22 between India & Madagascar stood at US$ 363.99 million. India was the second largest origin of imports for Madagascar in 2020 (EIU-2022) constituting 9.4% of total imports by Madagascar.  However, there is huge potential in trade sector that the two nations can explore ranging from agricultural commodities to pharmaceuticals, from machineries to textiles. The key sectors where we can focus include: engineering goods, gems and jewellery, traditional medicines, pharmaceuticals and textiles. This will not only promote exports and imports but also enhance the livelihood of our people and create jobs. 

Recently India achieved the target of $400 billion in merchandise exports which represents a growth of over 21% in exports compared to the previous record high of $330 billion achieved in FY2019 prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.   

Madagascar is a beneficiary of India’s Duty Free Preferential Tariff Scheme. This Scheme for Least Developed Countries intends to provide tariff preferences by India on products originating in the notified Countries. I firmly believe that we may consider setting a goal of achieving $1 billion trade figures target between India and Madagascar in the next five years. We have to however deal with some challenges that traders face: lack of efficient payment models to tackle payment issues, exploring possibilities of direct shipping links, the information gap between the traders of both countries, and lack of continuous interactions between commercial entities of both countries for exploring better trade opportunities.

Today, we have gathered here to take the trade relationship between India and Madagascar to a higher level that will play a critical role in resolving these issues.  I am delighted to be a part of this celebration when India-Madagascar Chamber of Commerce is being launched and I believe that this will go a long way in strengthening the bilateral trade relationship between our two countries. 

A commercial chamber focused on India and Madagascar will serve as a focal point for numerous Indian and Malagasy traders who are doing business within these countries and also those who wish to extend their markets to India or Madagascar. It will also work as a platform for future trade related events and eventually generate more information about the huge opportunities that these countries offer. 

From 2021 to 2023, India will be celebrating Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to commemorate 75 years of progressive India and the glorious history of its people, culture and achievements. Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav is an embodiment of all that is progressive about India’s socio-cultural, political and economic identity. This Mahotsav is dedicated to the people of India who have not only been instrumental in bringing India thus far in its evolutionary journey but also hold within them the power and potential to enable the vision of activating India 2.0, fuelled by the spirit of Aatmanirbhar Bharat.  I believe the launch of India Madagascar Chamber of Commerce today is a suitable addition to these celebrations with a concrete purpose. 

I thank you all for being a part of this event today and hope that IMCC will go a long way in boosting the trade partnership between India and Madagascar.