- At the invitation of His Excellency Hery Rajaonarimampianina, the President of the Republic of Madagascar, His Excellency Shri Ram Nath Kovind, the President of India, is on a State Visit to Madagascar from 14 – 15 March, 2018. The President of India is accompanied by his spouse Mrs. Savita Kovind and a delegation comprising Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, and four Members of Parliament: Shri Hukum Dev Narayan Yadav, Shri Manoj Tiwari, Shri R Radha Krishnan and Mrs Vijila Satyanath along with other senior Government officials. This is the first visit of a President of the Republic of India to Madagascar.
- Prime Minister of Madagascar, Olivier MahafalySolonandrasana received President Kovind on his arrival, at the airport. President Kovind was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Presidential Palace in Antananarivo. He held bilateral discussions with President of the Republic of Madagascar Hery Rajaonarimampianina on 14 March, 2018, who also hosted a State banquet in his honour. The Malagasy President conferred the Malagasy Grand Cross, the highest Malagasy award to the President of India. President Kovind will visit Antananarivo University, plant a Neem sapling and deliver his remarks to the students. Other elements of his programme include an interaction with the Malagasy industry along with the Indian business delegation and an Indian community reception.
- Both the Presidents jointly inaugurated the Center on Geoinformatics Applications for Rural Development (CGARD), set up in Antananarivo with India’s assistance. The Center’s cutting-edge technologies related to remote sensing, geo-informatic information system (GIS) and GPS, can be applied in several sectors: fishing, agriculture, cartography, natural disaster management, scientific research, etc.
- During the discussions, both the Leaders acknowledged the long-standing excellent bilateral relations between Madagascar and India and re-affirmed the mutual desire to strengthen economic, commercial, technical, educational, scientific and cultural cooperation between the two countries. The Malagasy side appreciated the support provided by the Government of India in education/capacity building of students, professionals and institutions which have been one of the strongest pillars of bilateral partnership between the two countries.
- Underlining that there was great potential for enhancement and expansion of mutual trade relations, both the Leaders emphasized the need for enhanced private sector investments from India to Madagascar in a wide range of important sectors. President of Madagascar His Excellency Hery Rajaonarimampianina expressed keenness to provide further incentives to investors in Madagascar including simplification of business visas to Indian businesspersons on a reciprocal basis.
- The two Presidents recognized the importance of strengthening and diversifying cooperation especially in the area of the blue and related economy, including the promotion of sustainable fisheries, maritime connectivity, marine resource management, ecotourism promotion, pollution control and sea related studies.
- The two Leaders recognized the significant role of Madagascar as well as its strategic importance and the role of India in the maintenance of peace and stability in the Indian Ocean region. They stressed the need to remain engaged on regional and international issues of mutual interest such as maritime security and safety, including the fight against piracy, illegal fishing and other illegal activities, cooperation between their coast guards and their naval forces as mentioned in the Memorandum of Understanding in the field of defense signed by India and Madagascar.
- Both Leaders unequivocally condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and stressed that there can be no justification for any act of terrorism, irrespective of motivations, wherever and by whosoever committed. In this context, both sides underlined their shared concerns on the menace of cross-border terrorism and stressed the importance of international efforts to prevent and fight terrorism. The two Leaders agreed that resolute and credible steps must be taken to eliminate safe havens and sanctuaries that provide shelter to terrorists and their activities. President Hery Rajaonarimampianina conveyed support of Madagascar for the early adoption of Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) proposed by India.
- Both the countries agreed to work closely to intensify their cooperation in the United Nations and other multilateral fora in order to address current global challenges such as climate change and to foster international and regional peace & security and sustainable development.
- The Leaders called for an urgent need for the reform of the UN Security Council, including its expansion, to make it more representative, accountable, effective and responsive to the geo-political realities of the 21st century.
- The two Leaders underscored the need to hold regular consultations at all levels on bilateral issues in order to further diversify the agreed agenda of cooperation.
- The Indian President noted with satisfaction that the Indian diaspora in Madagascar, living for several generations throughout Madagascar, was well integrated into the Malagasy social and economic fabric and contributing for the development of the country. The Indian Leader thanked the Malagasy side for taking steps to address the issue of frequent incidents of kidnapping of Persons of Indian Origin affecting the community.
- The two Leaders welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Defense Cooperation and the Amended Air Services Agreement between the two countries.
- President of Madagascar, Hery Rajaonarimampianina thanked the President of India for the positive consideration of the LOC request of USD 80.72 million for the agricultural development and farm mechanization project. He particularly expressed his gratitude for the decision of Government of India to grant Category I terms and conditions for the Indian LoCs for Madagascar.. He also welcomed the generous gesture by the Government of India to announce the grant assistance of 1000 Metric Tonnes of Rice, Bhabhatron-II Cancer therapy medicine, gift of medicines (approx. 100 tonnes), one hundred thousand NCERT text books of English, Maths and Science for Malagasy schools, deputation of English & IT teachers, grant assistance of computers and peripherals to University to Tulear and Lycee Moderne Ampefiloha School, grant assistance for election related materials, computers, video projector, sound and office equipment to CENI. President of India handed over a cheque for US$ 2 million to BNGRC, the National Office for Management of Risk and Disaster Relief, as India’s contribution for disaster relief.
- This State visit marks the beginning of a new era of cooperation between Madagascar and India and an important step in the revitalization of bilateral relations.
- President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind thanked President of Madagascar, Hery Rajaonarimampianina for the warm hospitality extended to him and his delegation during their stay in Madagascar and extended an invitation to him to visit India.
14th March, 2018