Madagascar shipped US$2.2 billion worth of products around the globe in 2016. That figure represents a tiny 0.01% sliver of overall global exports estimated at $16.236 trillion for 2015 (as of January 25, 2017).
From a continental perspective, $1 billion or 47% of Malagasy exports by value were delivered to European nations while 29.5% were sold to Asian importers. Madagascar shipped another 14.8% worth of goods to North America.
At 8.3%, a smaller portion of Malagasy exports were bought by African importers.
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 2016. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Malagasy exports.
- France: US$519.6 million (24.1% of total Malagasy exports)
- United States: $282.2 million (13.1%)
- Germany: $189.4 million (8.8%)
- China: $144.1 million (6.7%)
- Japan: $114.6 million (5.3%)
- Netherlands: $98.5 million (4.6%)
- South Korea: $95.7 million (4.4%)
- India: $84.2 million (3.9%)
- South Africa: $78.6 million (3.6%)
- Singapore: $70.2 million (3.2%)
- Spain: $54.5 million (2.5%)
- Mauritius: $48.7 million (2.3%)
- United Kingdom: $39.9 million (1.8%)
- Canada: $37.4 million (1.7%)
- Vietnam: $35.3 million (1.6%)
Almost nine-tenths (87.6%) of Malagasy exports in 2015 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.
All top 15 importers increased their import purchases from Madagascar from 2009 to 2016.
The top gainers were South Korea (up from $161,000 in 2009), Japan (up 1,447%) and Vietnam (up 589.2%).
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.
In 2016, Madagascar incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries:
- China: -US$484.9 million (country-specific trade deficit in 2016)
- United Arab Emirates: -$139.5 million
- Saudi Arabia: -$118.9 million
- India: -$106.8 million
- Pakistan: -$91.2 million
- Malaysia: -$75 million
- Kuwait: -$74 million
- South Africa: -$66.1 million
- Turkey: -$62.6 million
- Qatar: -$56.3 million
Among Madagascar’s trading partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Malagasy deficits with Qatar (up 25,720%), Saudi Arabia (up 718.7%) and United Arab Emirates (up 232.5%) grew at the fastest pace from 2009 to 2016.
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.
In 2016, Madagascar incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries:
- France: US$315 million (country-specific trade surplus in 2016)
- United States: $176.1 million
- Germany: $117.9 million
- Netherlands: $78.8 million
- Singapore: $64.9 million
- Japan: $64 million
- South Korea: $57.6 million
- Canada: $27 million
- Sweden: $24.6 million
- Spain: $22.5 million
Among Madagascar’s trading partners that cause the greatest positive trade balances, Malagasy surpluses with Germany (up 9,769%), France (up 896.9%) and Spain (up 125.9%) grew at the fastest pace from 2009 to 2016.
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 for 2015.
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 Import Partners and Nigeria’s Top 10 Exports
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on January 28, 2017
Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on January 28, 2017
Investopedia, Net Importer Definition. Accessed on June 30, 2016
Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on June 30, 2016
Alibaba, Sourcing Buyers. Accessed on June 30, 2016