Sudan Open for Business With International Community

Khartoum — Restrictions on the import of goods from the US have officially been lifted, meanwhile Sudan has been invited to a donor's conference in Paris in May.

The Ministry of Finance announced yesterday that the US Department of Commerce and the US Bureau of Industry and Security has lifted restrictions on the export of American products to Sudan.

US companies are now able to do business without anti-terrorism controls and restrictions on US exports and trade to Sudan.

US goods, remove restrictions on the export of American products and services to Sudan, including computer hardware and software, telecommunications technology, and aircraft, were suspended from entering the country before the US President, Donald Trump, removed Sudan from the US State Sponsors of Terrorism (SST) list on December 14.

The announcement follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a loan of $1 billion between Sudan's Ministry of Finance and the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) on January 7.

Donors conference

French President, Emmanuel Macron, has invited both the head of Sovereign Council and the Prime Minister to attend a donor's conference that will be held next May.

In a statement yesterday after his meeting with the President of the Sovereign Council, Lt Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, the French envoy to Sudan, Jean-Michel Dumond, said that the conference will aim to ensure the full return of Sudan to the international community, and to encourage investment and financial flows from banks and businesses into Sudan.

In the statement, he said "it is now possible to work, invest and develop business in this country", noting that the conference will open many horizons for new investments that will benefit the Sudanese people.

Sudan's external debt of at least $60 billion still impedes the process of economic development in the country. Sudan's huge debt with other countries and financial institutions as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is mainly due to accrual of interest and steep penalties when the Sudanese government fell behind on its payments. For example, a single $ 130 million loan from Kuwait from the late 1970's has now exploded to a $2.8 billion debt.

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