Top Vanilla Producer Seeks $17 Billion for Development Projects

Madagascar, the world’s biggest producer of vanilla, is seeking about $17 billion in aid and investment to help pay for improvements in its power, mining and tourism industries and other projects, the finance minister said.

The Indian Ocean nation expects to ask development partners and investors for the money to help finance its “Plan Emergence Madagascar,” Economy and Finance Minister Richard Randriamandrato said in an interview with L’Express de Madagascar.

“Over the next four years, the state will have to mobilize about $17.4 billion of its own funds,” Randriamandrato said, according to the Antananarivo-based newspaper’s website. “We will seek almost the same amount from development partners but also the private investors.

The government expects growth to accelerate to 7% by 2023 as the development plan takes effect. The program calls for upgrading electricity supply, boosting tourism, managing mining resources more effectively, and equitably distributing wealth, according to the presidency’s website.

The treasury also plans to tap international markets for funds and has sought another program from the International Monetary Fund, Randriamandrato said. Madagascar has capacity to borrow more than $2 billion compared with its current ceiling of $900 million, he said.

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