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Lecture of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Madagascar in IFAT

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Madagascar, H:E: Mr Bary Emmanuel Rafatrolaza, visited the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade on 29 March 2017. He held a public lecture, entitled: "Diplomacy in the Service of Economic Development: the Case of Madagascar."

The event was opened by Márton Schőberl director of IFAT. He underlined that the Hungarian government’s Southern Opening policy provides a great opportunity to deepen the economic cooperation between the two countries.

Rafatrolaza outlined the economic and geographic situation of Madagascar, and he explained that as a developing country their main objective is a sustainable and inclusive development to fight poverty. He also presented the means for reaching that goal: his country’s development strategy. He identified four key areas, which can be the engine of their economy: tourism, textile industry, mining and agriculture. He stressed that Madagascar would like to attract NGOs and other philanthropist organisations, not just the traditional investors. Since, in developing countries, they are the leading source of foreign investments. He emphasized that the government’s role is to improve the business climate, promote local and foreign investment and facilitate the implementation of these private projects. And above all to ensure that the whole Malagasy society benefit from the development.

The Deputy Minister explained that economic diplomacy how can support the development of a country through the case of Madagascar. He presented their economic diplomacy strategy, which is built on four pillars: export promotion, FDI mobilisation, the Malagasy diaspora and branding of Madagascar. In this approach the embassies’ role is different as well; their main goal is to attract investments.

In his final thoughts Mr Rafatrolaza highlighted the necessity of the proactive economic diplomacy in the development of his country. And he expressed his hope that his visit only the first step in a deeper economic and cultural cooperation between Madagascar and Hungary.