As of 1992, 81.1 percent (US$311 million) of Madagascar's total exports of US$383.5 million were to the industrialized West. Four countries served as the primary destination of Malagasy goods: France (30.4 percent), the United States (13.3 percent), Germany (10.1 percent) and Japan (7.5 percent). In contrast, only 51 percent (US$313.2 million) of Madagascar's total imports of US$614.1 million in 1992 came from the industrialized West (a sharp decline from 78.7 percent in 1980), and only France remained a significant partner (providing 29.9 of Madagascar's imports). Whereas Japan and Germany were responsible for 4.3 and 3.9 percent of Madagascar's imports, respectively, the United States contributed a meager 1.1 percent. Russia remains marginal in terms of both imports and exports (less than 1 percent), and, along with the other former communist countries, has never constituted a major trading partner of Madagascar. In aggregate terms, Madagascar's exports to the industrialized West dropped slightly from US$316 million in 1980 to US$311 million in 1992.
Two trends in trade with the developing world stand out. First, Madagascar slightly increased the percentage of goods exported to other southern countries from 14.3 percent in 1980 to 18.8 percent in 1992. Other African countries were the major market for Malagasy goods (11.0 percent) in 1992, Asia came in second (7.1 percent), and the Middle East and Latin America together imported only 0.5 percent. In aggregate terms, Madagascar's exports to the developing south expanded from US$57.5 million in 1980 to US$72.3 million in 1992.
A second, more noticeable shift occurred in terms of Madagascar's imports from other southern countries, increasing from US$55 million in 1980 to US$301 million in 1992. In sharp contrast to regional patterns related to exports, Madagascar imported the majority of its goods from Asia (15.5 percent) and the Middle East (8.5 percent). Other African countries were the source of only 6.1 percent of Madagascar's imports, and Latin America registered the negligible total of 2.1 percent. A burgeoning trade deficit that exceeded US$230 million in 1992 remains one of the biggest trade problems confronting Malagasy policy makers.
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