Madagascar: Trade reform gives Madagascar a competitive edge

Author: Kjartan Fjeldsted
Publication: Celebrating Reforms 2009
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Madagascar’s trade reform program dates back to 2004. Its strategy placed a strong emphasis on the role of the private sector in spurring and sustaining economic growth and identified international trade competitiveness as a key challenge to be addressed. As part of this program, Madagascar reformed its trade policies and procedures, and the results have been impressive. This case study follows the process.

The reforms have transformed Customs from a fossilized organization to a state-of-the-art one, according to Madagascar’s Director General of Customs: “There really is no comparison; we’ve truly gone from making do with the equivalent of rickshaws and ox carriages… to driving around in a Rolls Royce.”

Main Findings

  • The overall time to import a container into Antananarivo was cut by 3 weeks.
  • Customs clearance time has been reduced to 72 hours at Toamasina, through which 80% of imports pass by value.
  • Since 2005, customs receipts have doubled—from approximately 900 billion Malagasy aryary to around 1,800 billion today.