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Malaysian companies urged to tap export, investment opportunities in Madagascar



By Nurunnasihah Ahmad Rashid

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 4 (Bernama) – Malaysian companies should seriously consider investing in Madagascar as the island nation, located in the Indian Ocean provided a lot of untapped potentials, according to Malaysia Madagascar Business Council chairman Prof Dr Abdul Kabur Ibrahim.

Among the sector ripe for Malaysian investment were solar energy, construction, infrastructure, services and tourism, he said.

The country which is situated about 400km off the coast of East Africa was currently looking at increasing its renewable energy consumption to 85 per cent by 2030.

The fourth-largest island in the world was also planning to build a similar city like Putrajaya.

“So, there is a lot of services needed by them in terms of building infrastructure, property development, road construction and even they are looking at railway…I think Malaysia has all these expertise and we can offer our services,”

“There is a lot of development currently going on in Madagascar and they want to give some priority to Malaysia to come in and join them, not necessarily to invest but participate as a partner with local companies there,” he told Bernama.

Abdul Kabur said Malaysian businesses should also explore opportunities in the export sector, despite both countries currently do not have direct trade links.

Presently, Malaysia’s exports to Madagascar were via European countries which have caused the products to fetch higher prices.

“The potential export products are healthcare, food-related, medical-related products, building materials, small and agricultural machinery, palm oil-based, rubber-based and other commodity-related products.

“Other than that, Malaysian businesses can also relocate or open a branch factory in Madagascar, which this will give them a lot of advantage as they can go into other African countries, Europe and the United States with no duties attached,” he added.

Currently, only about 20 per cent of Madagascar’s total land areas of 587,041 square kilometres is inhabited by 28 million of its population, which signalled that the vast, non-populated areas could be developed into various industries.

Abdul Kabur who will be leading a Malaysia trade mission to Madagascar from Oct 13-17, noted that the island nation attracted a few Malaysian investors in the early 90s, but later pulled out of the country due to uncertain economic conditions.

“In the upcoming mission, we are trying to bring in the exporters to go and meet directly with Madagascar’s buyers, having business matching, so that they can buy directly without the need to go through third parties.

“Our main objective is to promote Malaysian products and services. When you talk about services, you want to participate in their various development projects,” he added.

To date, about 20 companies have shown interest in joining the trade mission to Madagascar said Abdul Kabur, adding that the council have set a target of bringing 30 companies involving in the various industry to the island nation. 

-- BERNAMA





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