Independent Madagascar decides to organize its International Fair, that of Toamasina, in 1963. The initiators give its meaning and present different arguments to explain it. The essential fact of the economic problem of the Great Island, which must not be overlooked, is that the population explosion calls, in a most imperative manner, an accelerated development of the national income.
This objective is, by necessity, the one that is at the forefront of
government. Moreover, there is no doubt that if the method which the government intends to employ to attain it, proves to be ineffective, it will have no alternative but to try others. The method adopted at the Toamasina International Fair is a very close and active collaboration between the public and private sectors, oriented in such a way that everyone can find the guarantee of his legitimate interests. This method is the one that “has always wanted to be applied on both sides, and now is the time to demonstrate its relevance and effectiveness” (an anonymous columnist).
Its application on the occasion of the Toamasina International Fair will require both public and private sector
Considerable increase. But the event will require above all from them an effort of understanding and adaptation that can be painful. “Nevertheless, as in any case, it will be necessary that this effort is made and that it will be done very quickly, as much to constrain itself. “The” right moment “is the moment when, technically and psychologically, the best conditions are” unusually “united to bear fruit.
Thus, the Toamasina Fair is an opportunity for a call for private investment. The recovery of the trade balance is one of the essential conditions for the conquest of economic independence, “of which the Malagasy government is one of its main objectives”. This recovery is largely conditioned by monetary investments. “The amount of these, to be significant, is such that it far exceeds all the public and private means available to the Republic. A capital injection from outside sources is therefore essential. “
At the same time, investment from foreign aid is on the way to stabilization rather than rapid growth. It is doubtful that they will ever be able to reach, within a reasonable period of time, the quantum necessary for a recovery in the trade balance and, a fortiori, for a general rise in the standard of living of a rapidly growing population. Finally, their impact points make these investments generally profitable and have a much greater impact on the balance of payments than on the trade balance. “The appeal to private capital seems inescapable.”
However, these funds will only be invested in Madagascar to the extent that they will find the necessary guarantees of security and profitability. These needs are felt by the government, which is constantly trying to satisfy them, both for its declarations and its actions, for example with the investment code.
Nevertheless, the “post-imperialist” world environment is not conducive to private investment in the underdeveloped countries. Investments in their countries of origin or in other industrialized countries are often much more expensive than those offered overseas, and they are also not subject to any requirements or political risk.
However, the underdeveloped countries, Madagascar in particular, have some assets. “The personality of President Tsiranana, the weighting of the government and the Malagasy assemblies, the calm of the people and their ability to quickly assimilate new techniques, are all known in Europe and play in favor of the Great Island . “
More generally, the almost unanimous support by the public authorities of Western countries for the support of young economists from overseas, the measures already taken both in terms of guarantees against “political risks” and The action of the undertakings concerned which naturally wish to be supported rapidly by new investments, and finally the general movement of ideas which goes far beyond the limits of mercantile concerns and penetrates all circles, all in favor of the underdeveloped countries .
In these circumstances, it seems that “a constructive, technically and psychologically well-prepared action can be usefully tried at the International Fair of Toamasina, to direct international capital to Madagascar and get them to invest in it” .
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