Seven years after the start of a political crisis, Madagascar has declared itself open for business.
On an official visit to Singapore, President Hery Rajaonarimampianina told CNBC on Thursday that he was looking to attract more foreign investors to the island nation rich in biodiversity and natural resources.
"Madagascar is a land of opportunities in many sectors, including agriculture, mining, tourism and energy. After a few years of political and economic crisis, Madagascar is on the path of stability so it's important to assure investors of the situation," Rajaonarimampianina said.
A coup and ensuing violent protests in 2009 led to five years of international sanctions and dwindling foreign investment. Based on falling income per capita, deteriorating infrastructure and strained public finances in the following years, the World Bank estimates the crisis cost the nation $8 billion.
But the former French colony is slowly making its way back onto investors' radar. After recording flat economic growth from 2009-2013, the nation expanded 3 percent in 2015 following Rajaonarimampianina's victory in the 2013 presidential elections—the first vote since the coup.
Tackling poverty is the nation's top priority, noted Rajaonarimampianina.
Agriculture in particular is a key sector that needs improvement, he added, seeing as under nutrition costs the government $1.5 billion a year, or around 15 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), according to the United Nations. Moreover, the bulk of Malagasies are dependent on agriculture for income. Madagascar is known for its rich spice plantations, including vanilla and cloves.