July 17, 2021 (KHARTOUM) – Saudi investors plan to build a new port in Sudan’s Red Sea coast, Gibril Ibrahim, Sudanese Minister of Finance told the Sudan Tribune on Friday.
From July 5 to 9, Jibril Ibrahim paid a visit to the Saudi capital, Riyadh, during which he met with 7 ministers and officials of the Central Bank. He was flanked by Energy Minister Jaden Ali Obaid and Investment Minister al-Hadi Mohamed Ibrahim.
In addition, they held a series of meeting with the Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, and 40 major companies.
“We agreed to hold the joint ministerial council meeting immediately after Eid al-Adha in Sudan. We are now preparing to hold it during the first week of August in conjunction with another meeting for Saudi and Sudanese businessmen,” said the minister who was speaking in the margin of the Paris Club meeting on Friday.
He said that they felt great enthusiasm from the Saudis investors to work in Sudan, adding that besides an inclusive meeting with investors, they held individual meetings with big companies that its capital largely exceeds the Sudanese national income, as he said.
“They showed a real desire to work in Sudan, and we are optimistic that they would invest in Sudan.”
“They are truly interested to build a new port in Sudan on the Red Sea. This project tops the priorities of Saudi investors in Sudan,” he said.
“The matter was discussed with Saudi investment companies in long meetings,” he further stressed without disclosing the company.
“Also, we discussed an investment project in an arable area near Atbara River in eastern Sudan. A memorandum of understanding had already been signed providing to cultivate one million acres. Actually, the project can be expanded to include two million acres after the raising of the wall of Setit river dam,” he added.
On 11 July, Investment Minister al-Hadi Mohamed Ibrahim told the Sudan Tribune that Saudi investors plan to invest in infrastructure, electricity and main roads, besides projects to develop Port Sudan or establish another port on the Red Sea.
Ibrahim further said that Saudi investors are interested in livestock and poultry production.
“Some of them told us that their feasibility studies had been prepared in advance and that they were ready to work in Sudan,” he added.
Speaking about investments from the other Gulf countries, the Sudanese minister said the entry of Saudi investments in development projects will be followed by other investments from the region.
The UAE had shown interest to invest in Port Sudan and Al-Fashaga area which is claimed by Ethiopia however their approach in the two projects was declined by the Sudanese transitional government.
Regarding the banking sector, Ibrahim said that they called on the Saudi Central Bank to facilitate remittances from expatriates, especially since some Saudi banks still adhere to the old restrictions that were imposed on Sudan before its removal from the list of countries supporting terrorism.
Also, he said they requested cooperation between the two countries with regard to combating terrorist financing, combating money laundering and encouraging Saudi commercial banks to work in Sudan.