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Free and open Indo-Pacific

By Damon Embling
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Free and open Indo-Pacific
Copyright  euronews

Toamasina port in Madagascar is expanding, helped by funding and expertise from Japan

Madagascar is the largest island off of Africa, and offers a wealth of culture and opportunity. Its main port at Toamasina handles around 80% of domestic and global products. It connects this corner of Africa with the rest of the world.

And it’s getting a new lease of life – quadrupling its freight capacity – and getting ready for the economy of the future.

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A scene from Toamasina PortEuronews

Japan is funding the expansion via loans and is offering technical expertise in the construction phase of the projectAs Madagascar’s population rises, so too do the needs for a larger port facility and more infrastructure.

The Director General of the port authority in Toamasina, Christian Eddy Avellin, outlined why the expansion is so important, saying “The existing infrastructure at the port is outdated because it is 50 years old. Today, we only have one container quay with limited depth and storage space is limited too.”

It’s hoped with the expansion that the port will be able to handle 1,000,000 containers per year, up from just 250,000 now.

This has all been made possible due to a €350m development assistance loan from Japan. While helping Madagascar directly, they also hope to strengthen ties with the wider region, creating a stable area of commerce governed by the rule of law.

The chief representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, Tanaka Kaori, outlined the benefits, saying, “This project is part of this vision to enhance connectivity through developing quality infrastructure. The Japanese government believes that establishing a free and open international order, based on the rule of law in the Indo-Pacific region, will ensure peace and prosperity in this region and beyond.”

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A man learns how to operate a crane via a simulatoreuronews

The direct development benefits to the island nation will be significant. Authorities expect up to 1000 new jobs to be created after the project is complete, on top of numerous construction jobs.

It’s an economic boost to Toamasina city, but also the wider country improved road and rail connections are planned to access the new port facilities.

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Workers unloading cargoeuronews
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A worker at Toamasina PortEuronews