Officially named the Republic of Madagascar, this island country in the Indian Ocean is located off Africa’s south-east coast.
Madagascar shipped US$2.6 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2019. That dollar amount reflects a 18.4% gain since 2015 but a -14.5% downturn from 2018 to 2019.
Applying a continental lens, 39.1% of Malagasy exports by value were delivered to European countries while 29.6% were sold to importers in Asia. Madagascar shipped another 22.9% worth of goods to North America. Another 7.8% went to fellow African countries, 0.4% to Oceania led by Australia, then 0.1% to Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean.
Madagascar’s Top 15 Trading Partners
Below is a list showcasing 15 of Madagascar’s top trading partners in terms of export sales. That is, countries that imported the most Malagasy shipments by dollar value during 2019. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Malagasy exports.
- France: US$526.4 million (20.5% of total Malagasy exports)
- United States: $514.4 million (20.1%)
- China: $167 million (6.5%)
- Japan: $165.9 million (6.5%)
- Germany: $143.1 million (5.6%)
- South Korea: $123.2 million (4.8%)
- Netherlands: $115.3 million (4.5%)
- United Arab Emirates: $95.2 million (3.7%)
- South Africa: $86.1 million (3.4%)
- India: $73.7 million (2.9%)
- Canada: $73.2 million (2.9%)
- Taiwan: $47 million (1.8%)
- United Kingdom: $45.2 million (1.8%)
- Spain: $43.9 million (1.7%)
- Mauritius: $41.2 million (1.6%)
Almost nine-tenths (88.2%) of Malagasy exports in 2019 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.
Strongest gains from 2018 to 2019 belong to South Korea (up 41.8%), United Kingdom (up 11.6%), China (up 11.3%) and Spain (up 8%).
Year-over-year declines ranged from -5.9% for India up to -35.8% for Pakistan.
Overall Madagascar incurred a -$1.3 billion trade deficit for 2019, expanding by 43.5% from the -$928.5 million in red ink during 2018.
As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit.
It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. Similarly, that export country doesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports.
Madagascar incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries.
- China: -US$707.7 million (country-specific trade deficit in 2019)
- United Arab Emirates: -$285.8 million
- India: -$240.4 million
- Pakistan: -$107.6 million
- Egypt: -$106.6 million
- South Africa: -$89.1 million
- Malaysia: -$83.6 million
- Qatar: -$77 million
- Turkey: -$75.8 million
- Mauritius: -$59.7 million
Among Madagascar’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Malagasy deficits with Qatar (up 236.9%), Mauritius (up 66.9%) and India (up 36.4%) grew at the fastest pace from 2018 to 2019.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Madagascar’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Madagascar to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.
Based on Investopedia’s definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.
Madagascar incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries.
- United States: US$430.1 million (country-specific trade surplus in 2019)
- France: $264.7 million
- South Korea: $85.4 million
- Netherlands: $64.5 million
- Canada: $62.1 million
- Japan: $61.9 million
- Germany: $44.5 million
- Sweden: $32.3 million
- United Kingdom: $19.6 million
- Morocco: $17.6 million
Among Madagascar’s trading partners that generate the greatest positive trade balances, Malagasy surpluses with United Kingdom (up 151%), South Korea (up 96%) and Morocco (up 60.1%) grew at the fastest pace from 2018 to 2019.
These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Madagascar’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Madagascar to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.
Companies Servicing Malagasy Trading Partners
Not one Malagasy corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000.
Wikipedia lists companies based in Madagascar. Selected examples are shown below:
- Air Madagascar (international/domestic airliner)
- Karenjy (automobiles)
- Madacom (telecommunications, internet services)
- Madagascar Oil (oil, gas)
- Madarail (national railways)
See also Madagascar’s Top 10 Exports, Top African Export Countries, Top South African Trading Partners and Madagascar’s Top 10 Imports
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook: Country Profiles. Accessed on January 27, 2020
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (National Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on January 27, 2020
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on July 4, 2019
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on January 27, 2020
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on January 27, 2020
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on January 27, 2020
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Madagascar. Accessed on January 27, 2020
Wikipedia, Madagascar. Accessed on January 27, 2020