Much ado about a Daewoo subsidiary
Published: 18 Jan 2012
Posted in:  Daewoo | Madagascar
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Indian Ocean Newsletter | 18 January 2012

N° 1324   
The short piece we published in The Indian Ocean Newsletter (ION 1324) last week outlining how the South Korean company Daewoo Logistics financed the capital increase of the firm Madagascar Future Enterprise (MFE), unleashed a public controversy in Antananarivo. This polemic was further stoked up by Mamy Rakotondrainibe, the head of the Collectif pour la défense des terres malgaches-TANY (collective for the defence of Madagascan lands), an association based in France. On 14 January, the association wrote to President Andry Rajoelina, known as TGV, referring to the article in ION, to ask him for transparency about Daewoo’s project to lease several thousands of hectares of land in Madagascar – the same project which had caused uproar in the time of President Marc Ravalomanana. Several Madagascan newspapers carried the story. Meanwhile, the transition government stated that “there has never been a revival or any renegotiation” about the Daewoo project.

In fact, MFE’s capital increase did indeed take place (taking it from 315 million to 2.8 billion ariary), enabling Daewoo to take control of the company. According to Fanomezana Rajaofera, the Madagascan assistant to Kim Kwon Il, the South Korean general director of the company MFE, Daewoo’s old large scale project is dead and buried because it had given rise to “misunderstanding” and had been exploited for political ends. On the other hand, MFE still wants to invest in Madagascar under whatever government is in place, as the Malagasy authorities have never asked it to close its doors. However, MFE is waiting for the political situation to become more stable before it invests. Its capital increase will be used in the meantime to pay for its operating expenses and to finance market studies concerning its future investments, which are expected to concern chicken farming and public construction works.