文I本刊记者 许成之 张梅 卢爱任 录音整理I阿布达拉（ADIM ABDALLA）《苏丹视野报》记者 翻译I王晓波
带着这些问题，2018年7月，应苏丹驻华使馆邀请，《中国投资》杂志派记者远赴苏丹，在位于首都喀土穆的苏丹投资部，采访了苏丹国务部长乃志穆·哈桑·伊布拉欣博士（Dr. Nagmeldin Hassan lbrahim）。
Xu Chengzhi ZhangMei Lu Airen, China Investment
● About Encouraging Investments in Rural Areas
●About Boosting Investments in Agriculture
●About Investments Following Sanctions Lifting
● About Attracting More Chinese Investments
In October 2017, the US State Department issued a statement announcing the lifting of economic sanctions against Sudan for 20 years. After the lifting of the sanctions order, will Sudan’s economy enter a period of rapid development? What areas will the country focus on to attract foreign investment? What changes will this bring on the investment arena?
With these questions in mind, China Investment dispatched a team of reporters to the Sudanese capital Khartoum in July 2018. Right at the Ministry of Investment, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Investment who is also acting Minister of Investment, Dr. Nagmeldin Hassan Ibrahim, entertained questions on the country’s general investment situation.
About Encouraging Investments in Rural Areas
China Investment: Africa is China’s close friend and, indeed, Sudan is one in this important partnership. What are the areas of Chinese investment in Sudan?
Nagmeldin Hassan Ibrahim: First of all, right now the Minister is not appointed, I’m acting Minister. Really we have very long and good relationship with China. Sudan appreciates the role of all Chinese investments in Sudan. There are a number of Chinese investment projects in public partnership or private sectors. Chinese investment is based on oil and mining. These are strategic investment given to our best friend. So, China actually is our best friend in this regard. Around 11 percent Chinese are in the private sector and they are working very well.
China Investment: Investment is very important in the life and development of every country, what is the role of your ministry?
Nagmeldin Hassan lbrahim: Yes, this is the first Ministry you start from. All the procedures were being completed here. We have a single window to facilitate the mission of investors, and they don’t have to go to different institutions.
The role of the Ministry of Investment is to coordinate between the different ministries and to play the role of promoting all investment projects on both private and public sectors. We address the economic issues such as agriculture, mining and industry. Our Ministry is responsible for giving the licenses to allow companies to run business activities. The licenses we issue are subject to long verification with the lined ministries. So, we communicate the applications with the feasibility studies. For instance, if the project is related to education or industry, we would link the companies to the lined ministries. We also study the technical approval of the project to make sure it is good and meeting the requirements of Sudan. During this course we give the company or the investor a number of concessions to enable the companies to establish investment projects in Sudan. Actually, if the project deals with agriculture we will not take any kind of taxes, but if the project deals with industrial sector we will take only 10 percent. If it is a service sector we take only 15 percent of the tax. Also, we have another incentive like freeing all the imported equipments of customs, this is our concession. Even during the implementation of the project the invested company has a right to import more equipments with more concessions, and the other things that we have right now is concessions targeting the remote areas. We encourage investment in these areas through certain concessions, like giving special consideration to companies desiring to invest in remote areas. We don’t equalize them with those who want to invest in the capital Khartoum. So, we give special attention to these areas.
China Investment: Do you have special policies to develop economic free zones to be like what you have seen in China? China free zones’ policy is free and easy; is it a similar situation here in Sudan?
Nagmeldin Hassan lbrahim: We want to see the offers that Chinese government can provide, so we agree with the win-win situation.Yes, this is the area that we are going to realize.
About Boosting Investments in Agriculture
China Investment: Can you introduce the current investment situation in Sudan, what is the policy you adopt to attract foreign investment?
Nagmeldin Hassan lbrahim: Currently, we are working according to the government general policy guidelines, so each ministry has its own guidelines. We encourage agricultural sector because it is the backbone of Sudan economy. We need to realize the objectives of agriculture. All the areas around rely on our supply, like COMESA (Common Market for East and South Africa) and others. Sudan is in the middle, it connects many regional markets: 450 million people from African countries and more than 200 million people from Arab countries, nearly six to seven hundred million people. So, Sudan is an agricultural country. Its duty is not only to feed Sudanese, but also the neighbouring countries. Also we focus on other economic sectors to shorten the gap of production cost, so we encourage oil exploration too. You know that we have huge reserve of gold; the Ministry also encourages gold mining investment, and Sudan is characterized by organic food production, so we push agro industry products.
China Investment: What kind of policy do you have to encourage foreign investment in agricultural sector?
Nagmeldin Hassan lbrahim: The policy we have is based on giving lands, and then we have strategic schemes owned by the government allocated for foreign investment, mainly in the countryside.
All the agricultural investment is free of taxes.
About Investments Following Sanctions Lifting
China Investment: Is there any challenges and difficulties facing foreign investment?
Nagmeldin Hassan lbrahim: During the economic sanctions imposed by the US in 1997, the investment faced difficulties like financial transactions. Companies didn’t allow to release money, but right now after the lifting of the sanctions the investment environment is good. Now the companies can transfer money freely to Sudan or from Sudan.
China Investment: In the past the problem was about money transactions; which countries did invest in Sudan before October 2017? How was the issue of transferring money managed?
Nagmeldin Hassan lbrahim: Before the lifting of the economic embargo most of the investments were from China. We convinced them to do investment; others based their money here in Sudan.
China Investment: So after the lifting of the economic embargo, do you witness any progress from China, Arab countries or even from the western countries? What type of investment are they interested in? What kind of industry or industries is China reforming?
Nagmeldin Hassan lbrahim: Actually, we have a lot of licensed projects from China, Poland, Holland and Britain. Most of them concentrated on agriculture, some are operating in mining, but China is interested in reforming the old factories. China focuses on cotton production industry.
China Investment: The United States, for example, warned its citizens not to travel to Sudan because of some conflicts, what do you say about that?
Nagmeldin Hassan lbrahim: No. When investors start business in Sudan they have to learn the culture. Sudanese never and ever exercise terrorist attack. I don’t think the investment is affected by this way.
China Investment: Can you describe the relationship between Sudan and the US after the lifting of the sanctions? What kind of role do you expect the US to play?
Nagmeldin Hassan lbrahim: After the lifting of the economic sanctions by President Donald Trump in October 2017, the relationship was developed and we received a number of projects from the biggest US companies. They came to Sudan and their focus was in the areas of oil, gold mining and agriculture. Also, they took interest in infrastructure projects. Things are going better than before. Actually the US has a background about Sudan’s investment. So, it’s easy for them to go deep in Sudanese investment. According to the recent OFAC resolution, Sudan is not under the sanction of money transaction. Some European countries started investment projects in Sudan like Britain, Poland and Holland. We received businessmen from Europe and they signed a number of agreements with their Sudanese counterparts.
China Investment: Are you making any preparations in regards to the new investment phase following the lifting of the US sanctions?
Nagmeldin Hassan lbrahim: We are working to improve the image of Sudan before the international community. Sudan is not a terrorist country and it has good governance and transparency. We try to connect our companies to the international markets, so we created conducive atmosphere to investors through more concessions. We don’t have a problem as well.
About Attracting More Chinese Investments
China Investment: Coming back to Chinese investment, what kind of future plans do you have to boost Sudan-China investment cooperation?
Nagmeldin Hassan lbrahim: During the last 10 years I have been to China for many times, and I have seen how Chinese run business and investment in free zones markets. The special economic zone is the way that we are looking for in Sudan. Right now we issued licenses for Chinese companies to operate in Port Sudan in mining projects. We have many economic zones in Algenina, Kassala, Kosti and AL Galabat, so we hope that Chinese companies will lead investment in these areas which connect Sudan to Ethiopia, Chad, South Sudan and Central Africa. We look forward to promote these zones, and I hope China will play a key role in this type of investment. I always encourage Chinese companies to invest in these areas because I know they have a long experience in this field.
China Investment: Sudan is indeed an agricultural country, what is your policy to generate revenue and benefits from this sector?
Nagmeldin Hassan lbrahim: We need technology to promote agriculture in Sudan. The international community requires high quality products that are based on international standards and well-known trade mark. So, without technology we can’t improve agricultural products. We adopt zero tax policy as an incentive to encourage access to technology, and we encourage feasibilities that add a new technology to the agricultural sector.
China Investment: What is the role of China investment in Sudan in terms of agriculture?
Nagmeldin Hassan lbrahim: Firstly, I appreciate the role of the China government for giving special attention to Sudan and for directing both public and private sectors to invest in Sudan. Every day we witness how Chinese companies work with high efficiency, so we really encourage Chinese companies to work in Sudan and to lead the economy in the country. Really, I need to store the position of China, because China is number one in economy. We need to develop the relations between the two countries. We need to exchange interests potentials and experiences.
Really we have a lot of Chinese projects in Sudan. There are 174 private investment projects run by Chinese, but most of them focus on industrial sector. Also, we have about 30 partnership projects between Sudan and China.(Editor: JATOR NJECHU) .