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22 February 2018

Newsletter n° 90 [ENG]

To His Excellency Mister Lim Sang-woo,
Ambassador of the Republic of South Korea to Madagascar


We have the honor to write you this open letter, which we will send a copy to the authorities and to the Malagasy press.

At the beginning of 2018, quoting parts of your credentials, the website of the Presidency of the Malagasy Republic announced "many projects [that] will be accelerated" as part of the strengthening of the partnership between South Korea and Madagascar : "Infrastructure, energy, and exchange of experiences in new technologies" (1).

Previously, the website of the Presidency had already informed about South Korean actions such as :
-donations to the National Office for Risk and Disaster Management of 22 hydraulic excavators, 22 backhoe loaders, 22 dump trucks, 22 ambulances, 22 firefighting vehicles, with lift arms, 22 large-capacity motor pumps, and 11 command posts and mobile clinics, as well as hardware and IT equipment for the Meteorological Services of the 22 regions ;
- the opening of a center for access to information at the Ecole Supérieure Polytechnique in Antananarivo ;
- and a project entitled "Better Life For Girls", aimed at improving the lives of young Malagasy girls. (2)

Following the courtesy visits that you made to various Malagasy leaders, the press reported the existence of projects in "the mining sector, the fishing sector, agriculture, as well as fishing and transformable energy" , priority being given to the "blue economy", in addition to the resumption of the rehabilitation of the National Road 9 already planned in 2008 (3) and (4)

The list is long, since we do not forget your involvement in Ambatovy mining site and its surroundings since 2005.

Your Excellency Mister Lim Sang-woo, The Ambassador of South Korea,

You recently told reporters that you consider cooperation with countries on "emergence" and development such as Madagascar as a duty and a responsibility and that the challenge is all the more important for you that your country has experienced poverty in the past (..). And you called on the Malagasy people to join forces and roll up their sleeves to develop the country. "(4) and (5)

In addition, a member of the South Korea diplomacy staff stated in an interview in 2013 that "wherever in Madagascar, South Korea has a bilateral win-win relationship with Madagascar and its population (win- win)" (6).

Your Excellency Mister Lim Sang-woo, The Ambassador of South Korea,

Please allow us to ask you to specify the counterpart of these donations and investments as requested from the Malagasy party in the short, medium and long term. In other words, what do you win in exchange in Madagascar ?

We all remember the Daewoo Logistics project - or "Daewoo deal" for Malagasy -, which concerned the 99-year lease of 1.3 million hectares of agricultural land by Daewoo Logistics in 4 regions in Madagascar. Its implementation was suspended as a result of the political crisis in the country back in early 2009 ...

This case is very serious for us, Malagasy. The subject remains sensitive and awakens legitimate fears among the population and civil society.

A manager of Daewoo Logistics declared in March 2009 that the company had fulfilled all its contractual obligations and was in wait for the Malagasy party’s decision for the next steps (7).

Hence our question : Should we expect a resumption of this Daewoo Logistics project in any way, as originally planned or in a new form ?

In advance, we thank you for your response that we hope will be totally transparent about the ins and outsresults of South Korea-Madagascar cooperation.

Yours faithfully,

Paris, February 16, 2018
For The Collective for the defense of Malagasy lands - TANY
Mamy Rakotondrainibe, president of the association. ; ;

References :

(4) ;
(5) Traduction par nos soins d’un extrait de l’article en Malagasy précédent (4)

Collectif pour la défense des terres malgaches – TANY ; MDA 11 - Boîte 89 ;
8, rue du général Renault - 75011 - Paris - France
déclarée aux J.O. Associations le 07/02/2009