Sudan/South Sudan: Positive Relations and Common Interest

Haffiya Abdalla

Sudan is rich with its abundant resources which are represented in vast areas of land, and various climates. It is special with its fertile agricultural lands, large amounts of freshwater, and a variety in its animal resources. The extraction of petroleum gave Sudan an important economic dimension.

This is besides the distinguished geographic locations of Sudan which makes Sudan a passage to other African countries which qualifies it as one of the commercial and investment inlets of those countries.

The importance of Sudan has increased in the field of investment during the last period due to its increasing economic importance from one side and its abundant economic resources from another. It has become the target businessmen from all around the globe who come to start investments in Sudan, supported by the fact that Sudan ranked second in the list of the world’s most attractive countries for investment according to the reports of regional and international organizations. The investment opportunities will grow after the establishment of the peace process which adds an effective third dimension to the attractive investment climate. It will also allow investors to utilize natural resources abundant in Sudan’s states more efficiently.

The tide began to turn in 2019 after the popular uprising in Sudan 2019 that ousted one of the most autocratic regimes in Africa. This opened new opportunities for the relationship with South Sudan, including the “softer borders”.

South Sudan is the most oil-dependent country in the world. Oil exports account for almost the whole of the country’s export revenues, contributing 95% of government revenues, and around 60% of its GDP.

It is worth noting that the Sudan Undersecretary of the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum has received his counterpart in South Sudan and the accompanying delegation.

The two sides discussed in a meeting held recently issues related to the improvement of oil production, operating oilfields, and training of South Sudanese cadres at oil training centers in Sudan.

Moreover, the two sides discussed the settlement of financial accounts between the two countries in the oil field.

The Undersecretary affirmed that the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum is ready to assist in the field of oil and transfer of experiences, to increase oil production in South Sudan.

Undersecretary of Ministry of Petroleum and Mining in South Sudan described cooperation between Sudan and South Sudan since 2012 as fruitful hoping, for the continuity of cooperation with the same strength.

It is to be noted that the two countries signed a cooperation agreement in the field of petroleum in 2012 and it would expire in 2022.

Sudanese Trade and Investment Fair which was organized recently in Juba is considered one of the important steps to tie relations between two countries participated by the First Vice – President of the Transitional Sovereignty Council, Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, enhancing the relations between Sudan and South Sudan in the trade field, witnessing by the signing of a memorandum of understanding on commercial aspects shortly.

There are very great opportunities for investment and trade integration between Sudan and South Sudan, expecting the volume of trade exchange between the two countries to increase within one year to more than three billion dollars.

South Sudan’s investment minister, Dhieu Mathok Ding Wol, said over 40 Sudanese companies organized a major trade fair in the capital Juba to showcase investment opportunities in the world’s youngest nation next year.

Mathok said “This is a great opportunity for South Sudan and Sudan to benefit out of what is being produced in Sudan, and also creating an environment for investment in South Sudan because a believed most of those companies are going to open their branches here and create a lot of opportunities for employment of our young people,” he said.

The two countries hoped that they will go a long way to stabilize and strengthen consumer and trade and investment relations between the two countries.

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