Diplomatic relations and official representation
Canada established diplomatic ties with Madagascar in 1965, five years after their independence. Canadian relations with Madagascar are managed from our High Commission in South Africa, with an Honorary Consulate located in Antananarivo. At present, Canadian representation is at the level of a Chargé d'affaires (as opposed to a full Ambassador) pending the constitutional resolution of the 2009 military-backed takeover of the democratically elected Malagasy government.
Madagascar is represented in Canada by its Embassy in Ottawa. Madagascar has consulates in Montreal, Quebec City and Calgary.
Bilateral relations between Canada and Madagascar have traditionally been warm, and have seen increased activity in recent years, particularly in relation to the scale of Canadian investment in Madagascar.
One basis of our strong relations is shared membership in La Francophonie. In 1997, Canada assisted with the organization and financing of the Jeux de La Francophonie, held in Madagascar. In 2008, the then-President of Madagascar attended the Summit of La Francophonie in Quebec City. With the 2009 political crisis, the Conseil Permanent de la Francophonie suspended Madagascar from its membership in the organisation. Canada continues to actively engage on issues pertaining to Madagascar through La Francophonie as part of efforts to promote a return to democratic rule there.
Canada also supports efforts by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to implement the agreed Roadmap, and facilitate an end to the on-going political crisis.
While the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) does not maintain a significant assistance program in Madagascar, funding for small scale, grassroots development initiatives in Canadian priority areas is available to Malagasy organisations through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives. Canada also provides support to Canadian organizations working in Madagascar. In addition, Canada provides assistance through multilateral and Canadian partnership programming, including non-governmental organizations, United Nations agencies and Global Fund mechanisms.
Canada’s commercial relationship with Madagascar has been modest over the past several years, however a recent boom in Madagascar’s mining sector has significantly increased commercial activity between the two countries.
Although two-way trade between Canada and Madagascar remains relatively moderate, the trade relationship is becoming increasingly important and has seen a steady increase in activity over the past several years. In 2011, two-way merchandise trade between Canada and Madagascar equalled $87.4 million, consisting of $23.9 million in exports to, and $63.5 million in imports from, Madagascar. Top Canadian merchandise exports to Madagascar include machinery, electric machinery, medical and surgical instruments, furniture, and miscellaneous textiles. Top Canadian merchandise imports from Madagascar include mineral ores, slag and ash, coffee and tea, knit and woven apparel.
A number of Canadian companies and partially Canadian-owned companies are active in the mining sector, and Canada has recently overtaken France to become the largest foreign investor in the country. Cumulative Canadian mining assets in Madagascar increased from $0 in 2002 to approximately to $1.9 billion in 2010.
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