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Khartoum International Trade Fair 2019: A great opportunity for Pakistani investors

By Shahid Khan,
Khartoum International Trade Fair will be held in last week of January, 2019. Usually participants come from across the world like Asian, Arab, African, European, and Latin American countries. This event is a general trade fair featuring wide range of exhibits, for example Industrial, Agricultural machinery and equipment, Information, technology, Energy and Mines, Building Materials, Services, Consumers’ goods as ready – made garments and households appliances. Some 14 Countries took part in the last session held in Jan 2018. About 600 firms participated with a display of various products and services including the national companies. The fair was opened to Manufacturers, Suppliers, Retailers, Marketing and direct selling companies. The Government sector and General Public visitors of the last session were estimated at 150,000 people. Pakistan and Sudan are friends since their formation on world map. Government Republic of Sudan take keen interest in to invites Pakistani businessmen for invest in Sudan in many field like medicine, education, pharmaceuticals and hospitals building, these fields provide the best investment opportunities to investors. This trade fair provide chance to Pakistani business men for enhancing direct contacts with Sudanese businessmen.
On the other hand, Sudan’s economy is growing rapidly after the United States (US) lifted its trade ban imposed on the country. The US decision played very positive role for Sudan in future because Sudan is African-Arabian Muslim country richest with natural resources and is classified as the second investment attraction in the African continent. Realizing these facts, the government of Sudan established the Ministry of Investment in 2002. Moreover, issued the “Investment Act of 2013” considered to be one of the best investment act in the region. Sudan is reach with natural resources and comprise more than one climate. Along its excellent agricultural nature and resources, the country petroleum industry adds an important dimension. The geographic location of Sudan having common boarders with Egypt, Libya, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Central African Republic and more recently South Sudan and having shores on the Red Sea, give the country a lead in the distribution network within the region. On the agriculture front, Sudan has approximately 300-400 million acres of fertile land. Its crop portfolio is incredibly diverse, including cereals such as wheat and rice, oil-seeds, beans, lentils, and others. It produces cotton, hemp, fodder, and forestry resources as well. Moreover, the land in Sudan is suitable for animal husbandry, with its horticultural offerings of vegetables and fruits and it is rich with herbs used in fragrances and medicines.
The African country has various trade and bilateral investment agreements with more than 25 countries and bilateral taxation treaties with Egypt, United Kingdom, Malaysia, South Africa, Turkey and Syria. While China, Malaysia and India have major investments in the Sudanese oil sector and some of the GCC countries have major investments in the agriculture sector. Currently, the government is working on the development of infrastructure, services and facilities in light of the investment attraction policies. Some of these are enhancing the state of industrial areas, as well as building new industrial cities. However, Sudan already have free zones like Suakin and El-Jaili cities, which grant encouraging exemptions to investors. Sudan also features the availability of banking and insurance sectors, auditing, financial, technical and legal consultancy services. Sudan give good package to investor like complete exemption from customs fees for capital projects, freedom of capital transfer, grant exemptions from profit taxes of 5 to 10 years for investment projects, grant customs exemptions for strategic projects and non-strategic capital goods, strategic projects are given the necessary land free-of-charge, non-strategic projects are given land at an encouragement price, the investor has the right to operate without a Sudanese partner etc. The investment law has provided the fundamental guarantees like no confiscation of property will occur except through the legal system and after payment of a reasonable compensation, the investor has the right to re-transfer the capital in case the project isn’t executed or is liquidated, transfer of profits and costs of finance will be executed in the currency of import and on the date due, the project is automatically included in the registry of importers and exporters. Like Pakistan primary resources of Sudan are agricultural includes cotton, peanuts, gum Arabic, and sesame seeds. Although the country is trying to diversify its cash crops, cotton and peanuts remain its major agricultural exports. Grain sorghum is the principal food crop, and wheat is grown for domestic consumption. Sudan has a developed infrastructure comparable to most of Sub-Saharan Africa and many projects are taking place to develop it even further all across the country. Some parts of the country are better off—mainly in the northern states—due to oil productions and the wealth gained from it. The country is politically stable and despite some conflicts along the boarders the core was always stable and the growth was always sustained. Pakistan and Sudan are situated at strategic locations as Pakistan is a gateway for South & Central Asia and Middle East while Sudan is a gateway for huge market of Africa. Thus both countries could reap beneficial results by strengthening their bilateral trade and economic relations. Khartoum International fair 2019 provide great opportunity to Pakistani businessman to visit Sudan and meet the Sudanese counterparts for exploring new areas of mutual cooperation.

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