Why invest in Sudan?
Of the major factors which represent an attraction to investors are the following:
1. Sudan’s strategic location:
Which represents an entrance to Africa from the east and the fact that it is neighbored by African countries a few to which Sudan represents to the only sea outlet, The location on the Red Sea makes Sudan the centre of international markets; Middle East, Far East, Asia, Europe, and the USA as well as the recipient of ships crossing the into the Red Sea through the Suez Canal. Sudan is tied to some of the neighboring countries by airlines, roads, sea, and river transport.
2. Sudan’s rich resources:
These include agricultural land and fresh water resources, such as rivers, rain, and underground water. These are in addition to forests, meadows, animal resources and mineral resources which include petroleum, gold and other precious metals. Sudan is characterized by the availability of human resources represented in vocational labor, highly skilled graduates and very cheap rates for the available labor.
3. Infrastructure and Service Facilities:
The infrastructure and service facilities are updateable in the light of the government policies.
- To enhance the investment environment and keep up with the expected growth which is due after the discovery of petroleum and the establishment of peace in Sudan, the establishment of roads, railways, seaports, airports (national and international), telecommunications, electricity generation stations, water purification facilities, sanitation networks and others are very important.
- A shift towards the enhancing the state of industrial areas, and building new industrial cities supplied with all the services necessary for investment are essential.
- The availability of free zones in Suakin and El-Jaili cities grant encouraging exemptions to investors.
- The availability of a banking sector, insurance sector, auditing, financial, technical and legal consultancy services.
- The availability of educational and health facilities of high standard which contribute to providing necessary services to citizens and expatriates.
- The availability of a modern construction sector which contributed to the abundance of houses, and offices rising to fulfill investors’ requirements.
4. Political stability:
This is represented in the federal governing system which divided the country into 3 levels, the Federal, State and local levels and which guarantees participation by all citizens.
- The country is run by a central government from the national capital Khartoum.
- The country is divided into 26 states, each with its own government.
- The government looks forward to solving the problem of the south to establish stability and security in the southern states and the entire county.
- Sudan is also characterized by its independent judicial system which is capable of resolving all conflicts. Sudanese judicial and legislative systems are characterized by indiscrimination among Sudanese citizens and foreigners.
5. Economic policies which include:
a. Liberalizing the economy.
b. Restructuring the economy (privatization of public corporations ending the State's monopoly of certain production and service fields).
c. Modernization of laws and regulations of investment encouragement.
d. Implementing a flexible investment law which provides all sorts of exemptions and concessions which include the following:
- Complete exemption from customs fees for capital projects.
- Freedom of capital transfer.
- Simplify procedures through a single outlet “One Stop Shop”.
- 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.
- The investment law has provided the following fundamental guarantees:
- 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 (after payment of the legal duties).
- The project is automatically included in the registry of importers and exporters.
Regional and international agreements:
To promote the investment climate the Sudanese government has established number of regional agreements aimed at encouraging investment and creating trade opportunities with other nations:
- Sudan joined the COMESA trade bloc.
- Sudan is looking forward to joining the World Trade Organization.
- Sudan is attempting to join the Arab Free Trade Organization in 2007.
- Sudan has strengthened relations with regional and international organizations and corps related to investment.
Fields of Investment:
Total arable land is about 300 to 400 million feddan (one feddan =4200sqm)
and only 40 million feddan is cultivated.
Investment in agriculture fields is welcomed in the following:
1. Wheat production
2. Sorghum (Dura)
3. Oil seeds (sesame, groundnut, and sunflower).
4. Fruits (mango, banana, juava, lemon, strawberry, pineapple (ananans), grapefruit.
5. Vegetable (tomato, greenbeans, akra, cucumber, potatoes, onion, garlic, spices, legumes, lentils).
6. Beekeeping to produce honey
7. Organic fruits and vegetable (alluvial soil along the Nile Banks and deltas of Wadi Toker, El Gash etc)
50 million feddan of pasture land in addition to crop residue and oil-cakes make cost of feeding very cheap. 106 million heads of cattle, sheep, goats and camels producing only 3 million tons of meat. Also Sudan is very rich in wildlife and there are investment opportunities for modern farms for ostriches, antelopes, crocodiles etc.
Investment in livestock is welcomed in:
- Modern farm to fatten cattle, sheep, goats and camels and to produce meat, milk, wool etc.
- Slaughter houses to export meat.
- Milk factories to provide fresh milk, milk products for local consumption and export.
- Investment in transport facilities for live animal and refrigerated means for meat and milk products.
- Fisheries (Nile Perch) in the Nile, Lake Nubia Red Sea Poultry.
- Animal fodder
- Drugs and vaccines.
- Improvement of quality of the natural herds by introducing new breeds to improve milk and meat production.
Sudan has vast mineral deposits that have not been exploited; mineral deposits which are discovered in different parts of the country are waiting for local and foreign investors which include:
- Silver, iron ore, chromate, mica, silica, gypsum, granite, marble, chinaclay, manganese, asbestos, trauna (costic soda), talc and lime stone, copper, zink, lead, cement.
- Small quantities of mica, chromate, asbestos and marble are exported .
One of the bottlenecks in Sudan is shortage of energy especially electricity. River Nile with many cataracts and waterfalls, strong winds, agricultural by-products, sun, forests, all these sources give excellent opportunity for investment in those areas:
Petrol and gas production
- Hydro-electric projects (micro, small and large)
- Solar energy for lightning and heating
- Wind power for irrigation
- Water turbines for irrigation from the Nile
- Charcoal from agricultural by-products
Fields for investment in industry in the Sudan:
- Joint-ventures in rehabilitation of edible oil mills, leather industry, textiles…
- New sugar factories.
- Oil productions (petrol and gas).
- Fertilizers: urea (demand 500000 tons)
- Tomato paste and syrup (9 months tomato season).
- Fruit juice and concentrate, dried fruits, mango, guava, lemon, grapes, papaya, dates, strawberry and pineapples.
- Yeast (from sugar by-product, dates)
- Leather products.
- Spray dry gum Arabic .
- Packing industry, cardboard, plastic glass and sack for grains.
- Paper industry, from dates tree, agricultural by-products and forests.
- Compressed earth brick machines.
- Pharmaceutical products and medical equipment.