Madagascar - Economic sectors

Madagascar remains a firmly agrarian society, with agriculture generating about 32 percent of GDP and 70 percent of export earnings (1999). But the industry is limited by the prevalence of subsistence production and its orientation towards the domestic market, whereas its traditional export-focused crops, such as coffee, cotton, and spices, have been hurt by waning international prices. While there has been fruitful diversification into newer crops such as cassava (tapioca) and bananas, as well as fishing and aquaculture, agriculture alone cannot sustain future growth. Sectors which have become increasingly important are manufacturing and tourism, whose potential to generate foreign exchange earnings have made their development a government priority. But while innovative and productive steps have already been taken to encourage these sectors, and economic liberalization has helped to stimulate competitiveness, the shortage of investment capital has made progress tentative and halting.

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