CAIRO — As a part of efforts to bolster peace between Sudan and South Sudan, the 2 governments final month signed a sequence of agreements on resuming commerce and rising cooperation in transportation and safety.
The signing got here throughout a three-day go to by Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok to Juba on Aug. 21, throughout which he met with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and different officers. Hamdok led a delegation together with the ministers of protection, commerce, transportation and international affairs, along with a variety of senior officers from Khartoum.
Prior to the South Sudanese secession in 2011, many fundamental commodities was transported from the northern to the southern components of the identical nation. Sudanese economist Mohamed al-Nayer instructed Al-Monitor the state of affairs is completely different now. Had the 2 nations began commerce change instantly after the secession 10 years in the past, important financial development would have been achieved within the two nations if additionally primarily based on sound foundations, he mentioned, anticipating the amount of commerce change between the 2 nations to exceed $2 billion per 12 months.
Nayer mentioned the following steps embrace opening branches of Sudanese banks on the borderline and in areas between the 2 nations to make sure the revenues from the imports and exports are included within the commerce stability between the 2 nations.
Nayer mentioned greater than 70 commodities enter South Sudan, corresponding to sesame seeds, peanuts, salt, medicinal crops, onions, gum arabic, wheat and corn. Noteworthy is that Sudan is one among Africa’s high agricultural nations, with greater than 200 million feddans of arable land.
Resuming commerce might revive Sudan’s exports to South Sudan and decrease commodity costs for South Sudan residents.
As per the current settlement reached between Khartoum and Juba, Sudan’s Minister of Trade and Supply Ali Giddo introduced the formation of a technical committee made up of representatives of the Sudanese ministries involved with the plan to renew commerce between the 2 nations. In an announcement following the assembly with Hamdok, Giddo mentioned clearance stations can be opened as a part of the settlement. He identified that the 2 nations are working to advertise commerce by means of Port Sudan.
He added, “Khartoum’s shore on the Red Sea stretches over 750 kilometers (466 miles) and has several seaports. This will help South Sudan, a landlocked country, import from abroad goods that are not available in Khartoum through these ports, and transport them in containers to Juba via land and river routes. In turn, Khartoum will receive transit fees in foreign currency.”
Nayer added, “Resuming trade will boost oil exports for South Sudan, while Sudan will receive transit fees.”
Mohamed al-Shazly, a former Egyptian ambassador to Khartoum, instructed Al-Monitor, “Resuming trade is vital and builds common interests between the two countries. It is also an important element to develop bilateral relations.”
He famous that the state of affairs in South Sudan continues to be probably risky, including that the 2 nations’ infrastructure continues to be poor, as Juba is a landlocked state that doesn’t have seaports and most of its exports and imports must cross by means of Khartoum. Thus, resuming commerce will enhance commerce exercise and make sure the transport of products between the 2 nations, he mentioned.
According to a joint assertion issued by Khartoum and Juba following Hamdok’s go to to South Sudan, the 2 nations agreed to reopen 4 border crossings and open financial institution branches on the border space to advertise banking transactions and improve cooperation within the oil and gasoline fields. It was additionally agreed to renew the motion of products and passengers by means of land, water and railway transport as of early September, and to advertise commerce cooperation as of early October, the assertion added.
Sudanese journalist Musaab al-Hadi mentioned commerce exercise between North and South Sudan by no means stopped however passed off illegally. He instructed Al-Monitor, “I believe that the step to reopen the crossings will greatly reduce random trade activities, which exhausted the two countries’ economies. The agreement will certainly ease the burdens and reduce the exorbitant cost of illegitimate imports and shipments. Resuming legal trade activity will also stabilize commodity prices.”
He mentioned the settlement ought to “cut back the smuggling of products and the 2 nations’ wasted revenues on the black market. The monetary movement between North and South Sudan will improve financial sources and management commerce between the 2 nations, particularly in mild of the poor financial circumstances within the two nations,” including that improved commerce and financial ties might additionally contribute to safety and stability.