Guiding the Development of Madagascar's Special Economic Zones Program

Jean-Paul Gauthier with the President of the Malagasy SEZ Committee

Since September 2015, Locus Economica has assisted the government of Madagascar as part of a World Bank / International Development Association (IDA) technical assistance program. Our work involved helping develop a legal, regulatory, and institutional framework  for SEZs in Madagascar. The primary focus is on the development of an SEZ at Ehoala Port known as Ehoala Park.  Ehoala Park is located on 400 ha in Fort Dauphin and is being developed as part of a public-private partnership with Rio Tinto. The development of the zone has lagged due to the political and economic environment after Madagascar's 2009 political crisis, financial difficulties of the concessionaire, and lack of human resource capacity.

All work has been conducted in French. Our specific achievements have included:

 Ehoala Port, Fort Dauphin, Madagascar - the site of a proposed SEZ

Ehoala Port, Fort Dauphin, Madagascar - the site of a proposed SEZ

  • Drafting a new SEZ law, proposing management roles and responsibilities for the zones program, and providing strategic direction for an SEZ implementing decree.

  • Providing guidance on the selection of a developer and operator, including research on top prospects and evaluating expressions of interest.

  • Advising on best practices regarding the design of SEZ administrative agencies and of developer/operators.

  • Analyzing Madagascar's legal obligations regarding SEZs under its trade agreements (COMESA, Tripartite Free Trade Area, SADC, and IOC).

  • Laying the groundwork for a full feasibility study, including reviewing bids from potential contractors.

  • Advising on key elements for concession agreements.

  • Leading workshops and training sessions on all of the above.