Business News of Tuesday, 11 July 2017
Mr Osama Faisal, State Minister for Investment of the Republic of Sudan, has urged Africans to increase trade among themselves as the continent could achieve more when countries act together.
Speaking at the opening of the Sudan-Ghana Business, Culture and Education Expo 2017, he said while politics was the main course in bilateral relations, business and trade was the appetiser.
He said the event marked a new era in Sudan-Ghana relations.
Mr Faisal said Sudan was committed to the principles of regional integration and international trade, aimed at making Africa a united front and a strong global player, as envisioned by the African Union.
“As Africans, we should never underestimate our strength and what we can do when we act together. It is time to act together and explore our rich resources and let our young ones live in peace and prosperity instead of dying in the ocean while crossing to another country,” he stated.
He noted that the economic philosophies of Ghana and Sudan were similar; both hinging on a free market, private-sector driven economic development, job creation, provision of reliable services and accelerating social transformation.
Sudan is now free from conflict and fully engaged in international trade and business, he said.
He said the country was now exploiting its potential and geopolitical location.
Mr Ibrahim Awal, Ghana’s Minister of Business Development, bemoaned the low level of trade between Ghana and Sudan, a level he described as “very abysmal” and urged Africans to work towards building an African economy.
He said trade within Africa, with its more than 1.2 billion people, was below five per cent, whereas trade among countries in the Americas and Asia was around 50 percent and about 75 percent in Europe.
“It is unacceptable; let’s build an Africa where the youth have hope, where the youth have jobs and where the youth can aspire and prosper,” he stated.
Mr Awal said government was committed to build the most business friendly environment on the continent, which would enhance inter-African and intra-African trade relations.
He urged other ambassadors in Ghana to emulate the Sudan’s initiative in holding the Expo and encouraged the participants to network and ensure that there will be concrete businesses from the Expo to showcase next year.
Mr Babikir Elsiddiq Elamin, Sudan’s Ambassador, said the Expo, on the theme: “Sudan-Ghana Meaningful Partnership: Investing in the Future,” was aimed at using culture and trade to bring the two countries.
He explained that the idea for the expo was borne out of the desire to address the low level of trade between Sudan and Ghana. The theme, he said, was reflective of the optimism felt initial contacts and assessments.
Over the next two days, the two countries will explore potential areas of investment by bringing together the private sectors to interact.
Representatives from Sudan’s Ministry for Investment and the Ghana Investment Promotion Council outlined the investment environment and opportunities in the two countries, urging participants to take advantages to invest.