France and Madagascar

Political relations

France and Madagascar enjoy strong and friendly relations due to the historical, cultural and economic links between our countries and the solidarity between Member States of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC).

Visits

  • 26-27 November 2016: visit by the President of the French Republic, Mr François Hollande, and several French Ministers to Antananarivo for the 16th Francophone Summit. Meeting between the two Presidents.
  • 4 March 2016: meeting in Paris between the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Madagascar, Ms Béatrice Atallah and the French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Mr Jean-Marc Ayrault.
  • 5 September 2015: visit to Paris by the Prime Minister, Jean Ravelonarivero. Meeting with his counterpart in Matignon.

Economic relations and Official Development Assistance

France is a major economic player in Madagascar as it is:

  • its largest trading partner with trade worth €795.7 million in 2016;
  • its biggest customer (15.2% of Madagascar’s exports in 2015);
  • its 2nd largest supplier (10.3% of market share in 2015), behind China (24.8%);
  • its largest bilateral donor, through the AFD, which committed €61.7 million (new authorizations) to Madagascar in 2016;
  • the leading country of origin for tourists (47.5% of arrivals in 2015).

French Official Development Assistance (ODA) in Madagascar was €34.7 million in 2016: €14.7 million in multilateral assistance (98% via the European Development Fund) and €20 in bilateral assistance (including €16.8 million via the French Development Agency). A partnership framework document (PFD) was signed in November 2016 with the Malagasy authorities for the 2016-2020 period. This document follows on from the 2006-2010 PFD, which was not renewed due to the crisis in 2009.

Cultural, scientific and technical cooperation

The French cultural network in Madagascar is particularly strong, with a cultural centre in Antananarivo, a technical and economic information centre and Alliances françaises (29 centres), which welcomed over 26,000 students in 2015. With 24 establishments, Madagascar is the AEFE’s fourth largest French-teaching network in terms of student numbers, with an enrolment of 11,449 for the school year beginning September 2015.

Relations with the European Union

Following over five years of political crisis (2009-2013), relations between the European Union and Madagascar were fully restored on 19 May 2014, with the Council of the European Union acknowledging the re-establishment of constitutional order. The return of full cooperation in 2014 coincided with the resumption of regular high-level political dialogue between the EU and Malagasy authorities. Several meetings on Article 8 were held in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Human rights is still a sensitive issue there. As regards cooperation, the national budget set out for the 11th EDF (2014-2020) is €518 million, focusing on three sectors: 1) governance and strengthening public policies, 2) infrastructure to support economic development and 3) rural development.

There is major trade between the EU and Madagascar: the EU remains Madagascar’s number one trading partner, accounting for a third of trade. In August 2009, Madagascar signed an economic partnership agreement (EPA) with the EU, at the same time as Mauritius, the Seychelles and Zimbabwe. The agreement entered into force in 2012, and tariffs were dismantled by Madagascar for 80% of EU imports as of 1 January 2014. This was the first EPA implemented in Africa.

Updated: 30 May 2017

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