Economic Relations

The Physical Setting
Unilateral Sanctions, imposed since 1993 following the country’s placement on the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism effectively blocked the loans and grants Sudan was eligible for from both the US and the International Financial Institutions (IFI). Aid and developmental assistance including technical, cultural and scientific exchange was halted. Economic cooperation, commodities import and export, except under limited licenses, came to a stop. All forms of  In 1997, thencooperation and capacity building opportunities were curtailed.  Clinton administration issued an executive order, detailing and entrenching the sanctions. This was again later renewed three more times by the Bush administration in 2004, 2006 and 2007.

With the conclusion of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005, the lifting of sanctions promised by the Bush administration as an incentive for this milestone was not fulfilled. The Abuja agreement was also a significant achievement that should have led to the lifting of the sanctions as was yet again promised by that administration. Our high expectations and hope were once more shattered.

In full cooperation and coordination with the office of the US Special envoy General Scott Gration, the Embassy has exerted the necessary effort for lifting them. It is to be remarked that the USSES commitment to lifting economic sanctions is a novelty in Sudan-US relations, deserving particular note and appreciation. The embassy, in full coordination with the Central Ministry of Finance and National Economy and the WB office of Executive Director, has elaborated a detailed action plan towards that goal, debt relief and re-engagement with IFIs. With competent US authorities, sanctions, debt relief or cancellation is a constant agenda item in our bilateral discussions. We are confident that the issue could soon be resolved.

The U.S. legislature/Congress
Most U.S. lawmakers, regardless of the majority in control, are generally and traditionally hostile towards the Sudan. Their rhetoric is tough, but what they practice is what creates the obstacles for any well-meaning administration.

Congress has previously enacted laws negatively impacting Sudan. The Sudan and the Darfur Accountability Act is an example. Amongst others, presidential Advisor Dr Ghazi Salaheldin, during one of his earlier visits to Washington DC, attempted to explore possibilities of mending bilateral relations, but was met with reluctance and indifference. Laws enacted by congress require other laws passed by congress to annul them.

These lawmakers are very close to the Activist, humanitarian aid and media communities which influence and shape US public opinion. In turn their policies are shaped by the opinions of these groups. This is basically to underline the centrality of Congress in the US interaction with itself and the international community.

The Embassy continues to engage the congress in order to provide its members with solid and verifiable facts on Sudan. For example, the Politico, a prominent newspaper widely circulated only on the Hill, is one avenue the embassy has in the past employed to set the record straight and counteract fallacious and slandering propaganda. Meetings with some congress members who are either sympathetic or open to Sudan’s viewpoint is another method at our disposal to connect and re-connect with it. We will continue to enhance these efforts that target lawmakers.

Media, Press and the Activists
The media and the Activists raise awareness by disseminating frequently incorrect/distorted but newsworthy information on Sudan. Their depiction of the events in Sudan has been relentlessly harsh.

There are a number of Activist organizations, e.x “Save Darfur” and the “Enough Project” requiring particular attention and monitoring. It is widely held that they often use the money raised from concerned citizens to publish fear-invoking advertisements (Adds) on the major newspapers such as New York Times, Washington Post, Washington Times, etc. They also make use of the major television Networks to accomplish such ends. Unless and until we have access to these same papers and information outlets, their messages carry the day.

For our part as an embassy, particularly the Press and Information department, we’ve done a tremendous job fighting the American media onslaught with the meager resources at hand. We write press releases to counter false statements made by these organizations. At the Embassy website, we post updates on current events on a daily basis so as to communicate Sudan’s perspective on matters. We participate in press briefings and conferences in D.C. Lectures and debates in schools, Universities, communities and at churches.

Although these efforts are great, they are not sufficient to counter the volume of erroneous information put out by activists. We need to do allot more to change the hearts and minds of the American citizens and officials.

Economy and Investment
With an economy that continues to grow at a rate of nearly 10%, Sudan has proven itself to be the desired target for trade and investment. Numerous factors contribute to its appeal and conduciveness for such opportunities. With inflation virtually non-existent, the government is courting the private sector and urging all to participate in the development of the sixth fastest growing economy in the world.

Sudan's shore hosts Port Sudan and is the only sea outlet that many African nations rely on for a lot of their needs and sustenance. The Red Sea also enables Sudan to access the Middle-Eastern, Asian and European economies. Sudan is also linked to the surrounding countries by air and through an extensive network of roads. It also continues to diligently develop its railway system for a more efficient intra-continental transfer of goods.

Resource wise, Sudan offers an array of the world's most coveted. An abundant reserve of minerals is found in Sudan that includes gold, silver, uranium copper, petroleum, zinc, gypsum, manganese, iron, natural gas, chrome, mica, cobalt, tin, nickel, asbestos, lead, kaolin, granite and many more.



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No.1 San Li Tun, 2nd East St.
Beijing 100600, P.R. China
info@SudanEmbassyBeijing.com
Tel:0086-10-65322205
      0086-10-65323715
Fax:0086-10-65321280