President Hery Rajaonarimampianina made the remarks at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2017 in south China’s Hainan Province.
Countries around the world, including those from Africa have all benefited from Asia’s open economy, Rajaonarimampianina said.
“The Asian region, as a result of an ‘outward-looking’ policy and an effective and innovative industrial policy, now accounts for a significant share of world trade and is fully committed to intensifying trade both regionally and internationally. The prospects for further liberalization and for the creation of a larger free trade area in Asia, under the impulse of China, will provide an attractive opportunity for partnership and growth not only to the member countries of these zones, but also to countries in other part of the world including those from Africa,” he said.
Rajaonarimampianina added that cooperation between the two continents should be enhanced.
“In fact, Asia and Africa are the two regions of the world that are experiencing the fastest growth and would conserve this status in the medium term. They could become the engine of global economic growth if and only if they succeed in rethinking the economic model of globalization and trade liberalization, considering the weaknesses of the current system,” he said.
As an African country with a strong strategic position, Madagascar is hoping to join in the Belt and Road Initiative, said Rajaonarimampianina.
“Madagascar, my country, is part of the Africa of which I speak. Due to its geographical location in the Indian Ocean, Madagascar is at the crossroads of Africa and Asia. It is a strategic connecting point and aims to become an excellent country that can act as a bridge between the two continents. It is with this objective that Madagascar wishes to participate in the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative,” he said.