Officially named the Republic of Madagascar, this island country in the Indian Ocean is located off Africa’s south-east coast.
Madagascar shipped US$3 billion worth of products around the globe in 2018. That figure represents a tiny 0.02% sliver of overall global exports estimated at $17.546 trillion for one year earlier in 2017.
From a continental perspective, $1.2 billion or 40.3% of Malagasy exports by value were delivered to European countries while 27.7% were sold to importers located in Asia. Madagascar shipped another 23.1% worth of goods to North America with another 8% going to fellow African countries.
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 2018. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Malagasy exports.
- United States: US$624 million (20.8% of Madagascar’s total exports)
- France: $613.8 million (20.5%)
- Germany: $213.9 million (7.1%)
- Japan: $211.7 million (7.1%)
- Netherlands: $153 million (5.1%)
- China: $150 million (5%)
- United Arab Emirates: $111.3 million (3.7%)
- South Africa: $102.3 million (3.4%)
- South Korea: $86.9 million (2.9%)
- India: $78.3 million (2.6%)
- Canada: $68.1 million (2.3%)
- Mauritius: $64.1 million (2.1%)
- Singapore: $51.2 million (1.7%)
- Taiwan: $44.2 million (1.5%)
- Spain: $40.6 million (1.4%)
Approaching nine-tenths (87.2%) of Malagasy exports in 2018 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.
Strongest gains from 2017 to 2018 belong to Japan (up 116.4%), Taiwan (up 95.1%), United Arab Emirates (up 41.2%) and South Africa (up 31.2%).
Year-over-year declines ranged from -4.9% for France to -37.1% for Spain and -39.3% for Singapore.
Overall Madagascar incurred a -$928.5 million trade deficit for 2018, expanding by 15% from the -$807.5 million shortfall in 2017.
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$677.4 million (country-specific trade deficit in 2018)
- United Arab Emirates: -$325.6 million
- Pakistan: -$181 million
- India: -$176.3 million
- South Africa: -$120.8 million
- Kuwait: -$112.3 million
- Egypt: -$97.9 million
- Malaysia: -$84.2 million
- Saudi Arabia: -$81.3 million
- Turkey: -$76 million
Among Madagascar’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Malagasy deficits with Kuwait (up 533.8%), United Arab Emirates (up 64.8%) and Pakistan (up 27.1%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.
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$518.6 million (country-specific trade surplus in 2018)
- France: $341.9 million
- Japan: $154.9 million
- Netherlands: $126.3 million
- Germany: $104 million
- Canada: $56.2 million
- South Korea: $43.6 million
- Sweden: $28.4 million
- Singapore: $22.3 million
- Switzerland: $19.3 million
Madagascar’s $43.6 million surplus conducting trade with South Korea in 2018 represents a significant reversal from -$28.3 million in red ink one year earlier.
Among other trading partners that generate Madagascar’s greatest positive trade balances, Malagasy surpluses with Japan (up 302.4%), Switzerland (up 211.6%) and United States (up 20.9%) grew at the fastest pace from 2017 to 2018.
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
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on January 22, 2019
Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on January 22, 2019
Investopedia, Net Importer Definition. Accessed on January 22, 2019
Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on January 22, 2019
Alibaba, Sourcing Buyers. Accessed on January 22, 2019