Mauritius - Antananarivo

Trade ties between Mauritius and Madagascar

The main exports from Mauritius to Madagascar include food and live animals, chemicals and related products, machinery and transport equipments, manufactured goods (leather, rubber manufactures, cork and wood manufactures).

Both Mauritius and Madagascar are members of regional organisations such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC). The various regional trade agreements, signed by both Mauritius and Madagascar under the aegis of those regional organisations, such as the SADC Trade Protocol and the COMESA FTA have enabled both countries to boost bilateral trade flows. Among members of the SADC and COMESA, Madagascar is one of the main buyers of goods and services from Mauritius.

The main imports from Madagascar to Mauritius include food products, textile and clothing, and wood products.

Historical links between Mauritius and Madagascar:

Mauritius has established diplomatic relations with Madagascar on 27 August 1968 and the Mauritius Embassy in Antananarivo, Madagascar, was opened in 1990.

Mauritius and Madagascar enjoy excellent bilateral relations and have signed various agreements to further enhance bilateral cooperation.

Economic and commercial relations between Mauritius and Madagascar

Mauritius and Madagascar have multi faceted relations ranging from political, cultural, strategic to economic and commercial. The economic relations between Mauritius and Madagascar in the form of bilateral investments and trade constitute important elements in the regional integration process.

Cooperation with Madagascar experienced significant progress during the last few years. A first joint Mauritius-Madagascar Cellule de Coordination et de Suivi (CCS) was held in Madagascar in March 2004. Moreover, a Trade Fair was organised by Enterprise Mauritius in Madagascar in November 2007. Several Mauritian companies have also participated in Foire Internationale de Madagascar in May 2011.

Mauritius has also signed various bilateral agreements with Madagascar with a view to strengthening economic and commercial relations, including the promotion of investment and trade between both countries. The agreements are as follows:

(i) Convention tendant à éviter les doubles impositions et la prévention de l'évasion fiscale en matière d'impôts sur le revenu (DTA) – signed on 30 August 1994 in Antananarivo;

(ii) Accord de Promotion et de Protection Réciproque des Investissements (IPPA) – signed in Antananarivo on 06 April 2004 ;

(iii) Projet d'Accord Commercial - signed in Port Louis on 09 November 2005

(iv) Accord de Coopération Technique en Matière de Tourisme – signed on 06 April 2004

(v) Memorandum d'Entente entre L'Economic Development Board de Madagascar et le Board of Investment of Mauritius – signed in Mauritius on 14 January 2008 ;

(vi) Accord de Compréhension sur la Coopération Phytosanitaire – signed in Port Louis on 19 April 2008.

On the regional front, the membership of Both Mauritius and Madagascar within various regional organisations has also contributed to an improvement in the economic and commercial relations between both countries. Mauritius and Madagascar are members of the following regional organisations:

(i) Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) ;

(ii) Southern African Development Community (SADC)

(iii) Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)

With a view to improving intra-trade flows within the region, both Mauritius and Madagascar have signed various Trade Agreements, notably the SADC Trade Protocol, the COMESA Free Trade Area (FTA), and the IOC trade regime.

Under the COMESA FTA, goods are freely traded among countries party to the FTA including Mauritius and Madagascar. Moreover, the SADC Trade Protocol enables signatory countries such as Mauritius and Madagascar to improve intra trade flows through implementation of tariff reduction schedules.

Under the IOC trade regime, Both Mauritius and Madagascar have removed custom duties on a reciprocal basis on originating goods.


Agriculture, including fishing and forestry, is the mainstay of Madagascar's economy accounting for 34% of its GDP and contributing more than 70% to exports earnings. Textiles manufacturing and processing of agricultural products represent a major share of its secondary sector. Around three quarters of Madagascar's population live in rural areas and work mainly in agricultural subsistence activities. Increasing the productivity of the agricultural sector is therefore a central aspect of the poverty reduction strategy of the country.

The serious political crisis that hit Madagascar in 2009 combined with the global financial crisis led to a sharp fall in its growth rate (-4.5%) in 2009. The international community condemned the change of government as undemocratic and some external aid, on which Madagascar was dependent, was frozen. For example, at the end of 2009, Madagascar was suspended from AGOA under which it was benefitting preferential treatment for its exports to the US market.

Mauritius and Madagascar are both members of COMESA, SADC and IOC and trade between them are mostly undertaken under these preferential trade regimes. It is also to be noted that many Mauritian companies have established presence in Madagascar mainly in the textiles and apparel sector.

Main exports to Madagascar are pasta and noodles, margarine, flour, preparations for animal feed, soap, aluminium waste, iron/steel tubes, iron bars, textiles and apparel, amongst others. Imports comprise mainly of the following items: frozen fish, frozen shrimps, octopus, vegetables, dried beans, vanilla, nuts, salt, butanes, bags, amongst others.

Madagascar is also engaged in the negotiations of Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU in the ESA configuration as is the case for Mauritius. In August 2009, Madagascar together with Mauritius, Seychelles and Zimbabwe signed the interim Economic Partnership Agreement. Negotiations are now being pursued negotiations towards a full EPA.

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