June 25th, 2014, Hamburg – The Salon Diplomatique Sudan presented itself as an outstanding opportunity to gain valuable insights into one of the most resource-rich countries of the world. The ambassador of the Republic of Sudan, H.E. Badreldin Abdalla Mohamed, explained to an interested audience of partners, members and senior representatives that the country endeavours now – after crisis-ridden years and the secession of South Sudan – an economic comeback on the world stage.
The unique geographical position of his country being located in the heart of Africa is thereby supposedly serving as a “gateway to Africa.” Especially the access to the Red Sea provides a profitable trade route to foster economic relations with nearby landlocked countries that are members of a free trade zone with Sudan.
His Excellency elucidated the important and strong role of the private sector of his country as well as the friendly mentality of the people, which both serve as optimal prerequisites for economic cooperation and investments. “We have one of the best business climates”, announced the ambassador. An essential role of the economy in Sudan lies in agriculture, especially cotton and gum arabic. Apart from agriculture, various abundant natural resources like gold, oil, minerals and other valuable metals contribute to the revenue of the country and are supposed to endorse thereby the development of agriculture and infrastructure.
According to His Excellency, the current economic growth of 4.5% raises optimism about the future of Sudan. In his final worlds, he called upon the attendant representatives from politics and business to cooperate with Sudan in order to overcome the challenges together.
Afterwards, the managing director of samirbuller UG enterprises, Mr. Alaa Eldin Samir, gave an interesting speech presenting the Sudan with statistical detail. Hence, the area of the country is known to be three times the size of Germany and home to 30 million citizens. The gross domestic product of 2014 is estimated to be around 94 billion U.S. dollars, thanks to Sudanese exports which are to a large extent consisting of petroleum, cotton, gold, gum arabic and livestock, and to a lesser extent of fruits and vegetables.
Sudan provides especially in the fields of agriculture, mining and tourism great investment opportunities for foreign entrepreneurs. Mr. Samir highlighted that for investments non-discrimination is the rule, not the exception. This means that the same conditions apply to both foreign investors and domestic entrepreneurs.
Following this, the freelance consultant Walter Englert delivered a speech on his many years of experience with Sudan. Englert argued that the Sudan occupies a privileged position in comparison to other African countries due to its extremely well-developed private sector as well as its secure environment for foreign investors. Indeed, it was highlighted that especially between the years of 2000 and 2005 German investments increased tremendously as more and more goods were exported to Sudan. Unfortunately, this development was hampered due to regional conflicts, the secession of South Sudan and embargos of Western countries.
Mr. Englert emphasized that now is the chance to facilitate cooperation efforts of the two countries, as well as promote economic and cultural exchange. This is, according to Mr. Englert, not only because German entrepreneurs and he himself had made good experiences with Sudan – as you meet people there at on an equal footing – but also due to the fact that the training of local professionals is excellent, putting the latter in high demand throughout the region.
After a lively discussion with the audience, Secretary General of EMA e.V., Dr. Layadi thanked His Excellency and the other contributors profusely for the very interesting presentations and expressed his confidence for closer cooperation between German companies and Sudan.
Thereupon, all guests had the opportunity to exchange information with each other and the Ambassador while an exclusive lunch was served. In sum, it is fair to argue that the profound speech of His Excellency Abdalla Badreldin and the interesting contributions and questions from the audience, as well as the exquisite location of the Diplomatic-Club at the Outer Alster, contributed to making the Salon Diplomatique Sudan an extremely successful event.