Shadia Basheri / Khalda Elyas
Khartoum – Participants in a symposium on the future of Sudanese exports, which was organized by the Sudanese Free Zones and Markets Company as part of the International Fair of Khartoum and sponsored by Omdurman National Bank, have stressed importance of reconsidering the geographical markets and shifting to new markets for the Sudanese products.
They also affirmed that free zones avail environments that are conducive for investment at a reasonable cost, calling for creation of a body for exports development.
The Sudanese Free Zones and Markets Company has stressed importance of involvement of the private sector in management of the free zones, calling for facilitation of procedures besides the optimum utilization of the natural resources.
It pointed out that establishment of free zones aims at provision of effective infrastructure for industrialization to realize added value for the products besides focusing on export industries and their development.
Director of Projects at the company Ahmed Mohamed Ahmed Abdul-Rahman affirmed in a working paper he presented at the symposium capability of the Sudanese free zones of attracting direct foreign investments, especially in the field of agro-industry besides the possibility of obtaining funding from countries and UN agencies that are concerned with local industries, considering free zones as qualified for the development of the Sudanese exports through the export processing lines at the Red Sea and Garri Fee Zones.
He urged setting up of an export development body and provision of institutional support to the free zones in Sudan from the ministries of the economic sector, especially the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Dr. Khalid Al Beili of Sudan University of Science and Technology, on his part, stressed the importance of removing impediments affecting the Sudanese exports that lessen their contribution to improvement of the trade balance, besides adoption of modern technology in all operations of production of export commodities and provision of the inputs of production.
He also called for provision of funding opportunities for the export sectors at suitable terms as well as promoting the relations of Sudan with regional and international organizations besides foreign banks to extend finance for the development of the Sudanese export commodities.
He also pointed to importance of involving all concerned bodies in making the policies concerning the Sudanese exports and maintaining memberships in the regional groupings, adding that the volume of the Sudanese exports dropped after the separation of South Sudan from 7,199 million dollars to 3,674 million dollars.
He made a number of recommendations, including among others, opening of new markets for the Sudanese exports, boosting the trade point, involvement of concerned bodies in issuance of export policies besides enhancing the necessary infrastructure.