About Us Press Releases

State visit of H.E. President of India, Mr Ram Nath Kovind, to Madagascar, 14-15 March 2018

Posted on: March 13, 2018 | Back | Print

14-15 March 2018


A visit by President of India H.E. Mr. Ram Nath Kovind has been scheduled to take place on 14-15 March 2018. President of India had chosen Africa as his first overseas destination on assuming office.  He had visited Ethiopia and Djibouti last year.

This would be the first ever VVIP visit to Madagascar since the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Madagascar. President of Madagascar H.E. Mr. Hery Rajaonarimampianina had visited India in October 2015 for the IAFS –III Summit. From Indian side the last visit was by Minister of State for Finance, H.E. Mr.Santosh Gangwar in October 2016.

President of India will be accompanied by a large delegation which includes Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Mr. Ashwani Kumar Choubey, four Members of Parliament representing northern and southern regions of India.

As regards the program, apart from the ceremonial aspects, President will have talks with his counterpart and delegation level talks. He will also have an interaction with the business communities and a talk at the University of Antananarivo. There is a CGARD center (Center for Geo Applications in the Area of Rural Development) that has been set up by Indian assistance that will be inaugurated by the President.

The business event entitled ‘India-Madagascar Business Meeting’ is expected to jointly be addressed by both the Presidents. The business gathering would include members form PHD (Punjab, Haryana and Delhi) Chambers of Commerce, FICCI (Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry), CII(Confederation of Indian Industry) and All India Association of Industries.

India is keen to expand the reach and scope of our development assistance to Madagascar and have revived several institutional mechanisms to deepen our engagement. India is also keen to expand naval and maritime cooperation with Madagascar. Indian navy ships have been making friendly port calls to this country. In the last three years five Indian navy ships and an Indian coast-guard ship have made goodwill visit to Madagascar. 

India seeks a more cooperative and integrated future for the region and beyond through overall development of the ocean based economy and also cooperation. We already have defence cooperation agreement with almost all Indian Ocean littoral countries. We have defence cooperation agreement with South Africa, with Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique and Mauritius and Seychelles. We are expecting to sign similar agreement with Madagascar also.

In the area of development cooperation we have been extending Lines of Credit in the area of agriculture and we are positively considering fresh LoC requests from Madagascar. There are likely to be some announcements during the visit. We have been providing aid assistance in the form of disaster relief and Malagasy candidates have been attending capacity building and training programs in India. 

Madagascar is a member of International Solar Alliance family and has both signed and ratified the ISA instrument. Being a partner country it will also benefit from the projects in the area of solar energy.

As far as trade and economic relations are concerned, Madagascar is a beneficiary of duty-free tariff preference scheme of India. Our total bilateral trade as of now is not huge, it is roughly $330 million but there is tremendous potential for further growth. A first ever 56 member precious stone exhibitors delegation from Madagascar, participated in the Rough Gems show in Jaipur Rajasthan organized by Gems and Jewelry Promotion Council on 8-10 January 2018. The sector which is very promising and India is looking at Madagascar as an alternate source of supply of these items which is a very important sector for India.

Madagascar has sizeable arable land and tremendous opportunities in the area of agriculture. We buy a lot of agriculture commodities from Madagascar, we buy spices, cashew nuts and also some edible vegetables. Indian companies have been investing in mining, telecom and health sector and are keenly watching the emerging opportunities in Madagascar. Thus the scheduled India-Madagascar business meeting to be addressed by both the Presidents is expected to enhance the level of economic cooperation between the two countries.

Under our cultural outreach program we have had the first ever festival of India in Madagascar in 2015 and this year for the first time a large group from Madagascar also participated in the International Surajkund Crafts Mela. As regards diaspora there are 17500 persons of Indian origin in Madagascar who are contributing greatly to the Malagasy economy and their contribution is appreciated by Madagascar at all levels. 

Madagascar has extended support to India in various multilateral forums and is an important member of Indian Ocean Rim Association and the India Ocean Naval Symposium. The visit provides an opportunity and consolidates our relations.

Madagascar in a sense is a frontline state in the battle against climate change. Hence the visit by our President to this country coincides or come just after the International Solar Alliance Summit which has taken place in Delhi on 11 March.