Sudan – the country which prides itself on being the bona fide link between the African continent and the Arab world – is increasing its trade and investment ties with the Arab World in order to help diversify its economy and achieve more inclusive economic growth
As one of the largest countries in Africa and the Arab world, Sudan is privileged with a geographical location that connects the two massive regions and has large natural, human and economic resources that match its vast area. Rich with such unutilized assets, many people have forecast a promising economic future – a perception reinforced by the oil and gold found in the past few years. In recent times, Sudan has presented a unique model by fulfilling Comprehensive Peace merits (in 2005), and made courageous sacrifices when it agreed to the secession of the south in 2011.
The country has continued to develop despite the challenges; with the Government today working to diversify its income sources and pursue new policies that aim to remove all obstacles faced by foreign investors, including a new investment law passed towards creating a more suitable atmosphere for attracting greater capital. While efforts to improve the business climate have already begun to grab the attention of investors across the globe, Sudan is particularly keen to strengthen its business ties with its traditional trading partners across the Red Sea in the Middle East.
“Sudan is a rich country full of natural resources,” says Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ali Ahmed Karti. “Arab Investors are always welcome to invest in Sudan in all sectors, such as agriculture, banking, industrial sectors, mining, oil and gas. Many successful Arab investments are present here in Sudan which proves the availability of real golden opportunities of investment for all investors from different parts of the world in general and Arab investors in particular. Many international reports are always mentioning that Sudan holds solutions to three main international problems. These are energy, food and water.”
Indeed Sudan not only has immense areas of uncultivated arable land – capable of feeding the whole of the Arab world – but abundant gold and mineral resources capable of becoming major foreign exchange earners, while oil reserves are also still ripe for further exploitation.
As medium-term economic growth is expected to be driven by foreign investment in these great natural resources, the Government also remains committed to maintaining macroeconomic stability by putting forward a diversification plan to promote the non-minerals sector, rehabilitate its infrastructure and, perhaps most importantly, emphasize inclusive growth.
Aside from economic stability, Sudan is likewise working hard to secure more comprehensive political stability. In January 2014, President Omar al-Bashir announced conclusive plans for political, economic and social reforms that were covered by the National Dialogue initiative between all parties and political forces of the country – both inside Sudan and abroad.