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苏丹驻华大使:建设非洲腹地出海口



The Rising Importance of Sudan’s Ports


——Interview with H. E. Mr. Omar Issa Ahmed, Ambassador of the Republic of Sudan in China


Pei Andi, China Investment;Photo by Zhang Mei


China
Investment: The port of Port Sudan, which was originally built in 1906,
is one of the most important shipping hubs in northeastern Africa.
Could you please explain it pivotal role? What role does it play in
terms of the connection between the Africa continent and the world?

Omar Issa Ahmed:

The Republic of the Sudan lying northeastern of Africa , borders the
Central African republic, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Libya, South Sudan
and Chad by land and Saudi Arabia by sea. Sudan has a strategic location
that made it as a link between North Africa and South Sahara, therefore
plays a key role in transporting trade (exports and imports) of many
Sudan’s neighboring countries, particularly, landlock countries such as 
Ethiopia and Chad, through Sudanese ports.


Sudan has
three operational deep-water ports, Port Sudan, Sawakin, and the Marsa
Bashayer oil export terminal. In 1906, the colonial administration of
Sudan built Port Sudan harbour, because Sawakin – located only 45 km
away – proved inefficient and too small for the new large ships of the
20th Century. Port Sudan – lying on the spectacular Red Sea coast, it is
a logistics hub that holds a visionary investment park, as well as
acting as a strategic maritime gateway and potential. The Sea Ports
Coorporation (SPC) is the port authority for Sudan’s Ports owns a number
of specialized operational ports. Other specialized port is Oseif,
about 60 miles north of Port Sudan, which handles the iron ore. In
addition to that (Sawakin) is the oldest operating port at least since
the 11th century and played overwater link to the Middle East, as well
Suakin is the oldest Sea ports for commercial exchange between china and
east Africa as a part of the oldest Sea Silk Road, moreover a major
crossing point for African Muslims travelling on their yearly pilgrimage
to Mecca.


H. E. Mr. Omar Issa Ahmed, Ambassador of the Republic of Sudan in China


China
Investment: Currently, what are the major domestic cargos in the port
of Port Sudan? What is the impact of this port on Sudan’s economy?

Omar Issa Ahmed:
Every
year from Port Sudan – home to Sudan’s main seaport, helping the
country earn billions worth in transit fees and exports-around $4
billion worth of goods are exported, while annual imports to the tune of
$7.5 billion are offloaded, making the harbor an integral part of the
country’s economy. Sudan’s most important export is gold followed by
livestock. Others include: oil, Arabic gum, cotton and sesame. Main
import partner is China followed by UAE, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Italy.
The sea Ports Corporation, a pillar of the national economy which
facilitate the trade movement of Sudan and some neighboring countries,
was created in 1974 as an independent Sudanese maritime body responsible
for building, developing, and maintaining the country’s ports, harbors,
and lighthouses. Therefore, Sudan ports  are playing an important role
in achieving sustainable, developed economy in Sudan, beyond generating
economic benefits and boosting productive capacities.

China
Investment: Chinese companies participated in the port constructions.
What are opportunities for Chinese companies to continue participating
in the future? Especially in terms of inland transportation
infrastructure connecting the port and the construction of Port Park?

Omar Issa Ahmed:
Sudan-
china relations date to 1959, when Sudan became the first country in
sub-Saharan Africa to recognize China. Since the 1970s, Chinese
companies were contracted to construct Sudan’s ports, water conservancy,
electricity, bridges, roads, resulting in these projects to be the
pillars of the cooperation relations between the two parties. There has
been cooperation in sea ports development aspect between Sudan and China
throughout the last quarter of the century. Today, China is the largest
investor in Sudan; since 1985 contractual by CHEC. Sudan red sea coast
is a vital area and it will further boost the potential of
intra-regional countries, so based on strategic partnership China helped
Sudan to develop it’s sea ports, and has been installed modern rubber
cranes by Chinese companies, which is led to developed port operations
significantly in recent years to meet the needs and requirements of
shipping as a result of the large increase in the volume of goods traded
(imports and exports). Sudan Authorities is also adopting advanced
systems to improve performance, simplify and facilitate procedures to
achieve the requirements of regional and international competition.


Sudan
aims to attract investments in (sea ports and river ports) to expand
its market and enables to strengthen linkages and reduce out of the
economy, in addition to develop the existing ports and investment to
further expand infrastructures in cooperation.


Now
Sudan has important and strategic partnerships with China which have
greatly helped modernize Port Sudan and increase its efficiency, such as
deepening the lanes, increasing berths, modernizing handling equipment
and computerization the process of clearance. Though Port Sudan not
typically seen as a part of the Belt and Road Initiative, Sudan sees
itself as playing a critical role in the development of China’s plan to
link East Asia with Western Europe, east Africa and western Asia.


Interview with H. E. Mr. Omar Issa Ahmed, Ambassador of the Republic of Sudan in China


China Investment: In which aspects can we strengthen the trade cooperation between china and Sudan?

 Omar Issa Ahmed:
China’s
cooperation with Sudan is a good example of the cooperation among
developing countries. As mentioned before, China – Sudan friendship has
spanned more than half a century. Both developing countries’ economies
have their own advantages, and their economical complementarities are
very strong. The economic and trade exchanges are frequent. China has
been helping Sudan to develop its economy, as a key partner in
establishment of a number of important development projects, and still
two countries have chances to strengthen the trade cooperation between
them in many aspects. For example, infrastructure development projects,
petroleum sector, electricity, minerals, roads and bridges, agricultural
Free economic zones, special industrial zones and food processing
industries. When it comes to Chinese import and export trade China is
Sudan’s top trading partner, in equal, mutually interests. The current
investments from Chinese companies are large and growing in sea ports
projects, so due to Sudan attractive and comparative coast now there are
great opportunities for related investments.


Interview with H. E. Mr. Omar Issa Ahmed, Ambassador of the Republic of Sudan in China


China Investment: What impact does the African free trade zone have on the trade cooperation between china and Sudan?

Omar Issa Ahmed:
The
African Free Trade Area Agreement will create opportunities for all
Africa countries to develop and exchange investment and trade; it will
also enable the African Free Trade Area to advance development and
employment opportunities for people within the continent, in pursuit of
sustainable development objectives and the 2063 agenda of the African
Union. The agreement on the establishment of a free trade area among
African countries will help in the expansion of trade routes through
(one-belt, one-road) initiative, so Chinese companies will certainly
contribute to the construction of free trade areas in many African
countries. In this regard Port Sudan is beginning to fulfill its role
once again as the main port not only for Sudan, but also for the wider
African hinterland as we know Ports of Sudan are top of Africa’s ports.
Moreover, major development for the area will be the Dakar-Port Sudan
railway. While proposals are still ongoing, it will be one of the
biggest projects ever undertaken in Africa when it is finally
implemented, and a quantum leap in the area of land transportation and
trade exchange on the continent, giving four landlocked countries access
to the sea and providing them with a 10,100km long rail artery.


Complementing
the seaport is the Red Sea Free Trade Zone which began operations in
1999 to coincide with Sudan’s oil production boom. It is not only serves
just Sudan, but also many African countries. Having the free-trade zone
area means that imports and exports can move easily through this area.


Having
expanded over the last 15 years, the zone now plays host to a wide
range of multi-economic activities, offering investment guarantees and
tax incentives to its many tenants. In 2013 the government announced
that it aims to attract 500 new investors to RSFZ in the coming years,
upon its completion the free zones will attract many industries
investments internally and externally due to strategic location.
Meanwhile, the port as a whole is today undergoing major modernization
and upgrading overseen by Sea Ports Corporation (SPC).


Sudan
believes Sudan’s Ports will be an important loop on that belt and road
initiative particularly after signing (MOU) last September 2017 between
Sudan and china as a partner in belt and road initiative.




中文版:



苏丹港不仅是苏丹的主要港口,也是非洲腹地的出海口,将使四个内陆国家获得出海通道

文|本刊记者 裴安迪  翻译|邓哲远  摄影|张梅


——专访苏丹共和国驻华大使欧玛尔·伊萨·艾哈迈德(H. E. Mr. Omar Issa Ahmed)


《中国投资》:始建于1906年的苏丹港,是非洲东北部的重要海运枢纽之一,它的枢纽作用是怎样的?对于整个非洲与外界的联系发挥什么样的作用?


欧玛尔·伊萨·艾哈迈德:
苏丹共和国位于非洲东北部,与中非共和国、埃及、厄立特里亚、埃塞俄比亚、利比亚、南苏丹和乍得接壤,并与沙特阿拉伯隔海相望。苏丹的战略位置使其成为北非和撒哈拉以南非洲的纽带,因此苏丹港口在许多邻国,尤其是埃塞俄比亚、乍得等内陆国家的进出口贸易中发挥了关键的作用。


苏丹有三个正在运营的深水港:苏丹港、萨瓦金港和Marsa

Bashayer石油出口码头。1906年,苏丹殖民政府建立了苏丹港,原因是以南45公里的萨瓦金港效率低下,并且难以停泊20世纪的大型船只。红海沿岸的苏丹港是一个物流中心,拥有广阔的投资园区,是战略性的海上门户。苏丹港口拥有多个专业港口,海港公司(SPC)是港口管理房,其中的专业港口有苏丹港以北大约60英里处的奥塞夫(Oseif),负责处理铁矿石。此外,萨瓦金港是最古老的码头之一,从11世纪以来就开始运营,通过水路与中东地区相连,而苏阿金(Suakin)是古代海上丝绸之路的一部分,是中国和东非之间贸易往来的见证,此外还是非洲穆斯林每年前往麦加朝圣的主要过境点。

《中国投资》:目前经过苏丹港口的苏丹国内的货物贸易主要包括哪些?对苏丹整体的经济而言有何作用?


欧玛尔·伊萨·艾哈迈德:苏丹港是苏丹最主要的港口,每年为国家赚取数十亿美元的过境费和出口收入。每年出口价值约40亿美元的货物,而年度进口额达到75亿美元,这使得港口成为一个苏丹经济的必需组成部分。苏丹最重要的出口货物是黄金,其次是牲畜,其他还包括石油、阿拉伯胶、棉花和芝麻。
主要进口伙伴是中国,其次是阿联酋、日本、沙特阿拉伯和意大利。
海港公司促进苏丹和一些邻国贸易活动,被认为是国家经济支柱。这一公司于1974年成立,是一个独立的苏丹海事机构,负责建设、开发和维护本国港口、码头和灯塔。因此,苏丹港口除了带来经济效益和提高生产力外,还在实现经济可持续发展方面发挥了重要作用。


苏丹共和国驻华大使欧玛尔·伊萨·艾哈迈德(H. E. Mr. Omar Issa Ahmed)

《中国投资》:苏丹的港口是中国企业所建设,未来中国企业还可以在苏丹港有哪些参与的机会?在连接港口的内陆交通设施和园区建设方面,未来还有哪些机会?

欧玛尔·伊萨·艾哈迈德:
苏丹与中国的关系可追溯到1959年,当时苏丹成为撒哈拉以南非洲第一个承认新中国的国家。20世纪70年代以来,中国公司承建了苏丹的港口、水利、电力、桥梁、道路等设施,这些项目成为双方合作关系的支柱。20世纪70年代起,中国和苏丹就在港口发展方面开展了合作。今天,中国是苏丹最大的投资者,自1985年起中国港湾(CHEC)就开始承包工程。苏丹红海沿岸地理位置重要,能进一步提升区域内国家的发展潜力,基于战略伙伴关系,中国帮助苏丹发展港口,中国公司还安装了现代化起重机,这是为了满足近年来进出口货物大量增加导致的运输需求。苏丹当局也采用先进系统以提高绩效,简化和加速港口运作,以达到区域和国际竞争的要求。


苏丹的目标是吸引对海港和内河港口的投资以扩大市场,加强联系并减少经济损失,同时发展现有港口和投资,以进一步扩大基础设施的合作。


现在,苏丹与中国建立了战略合作伙伴关系。这一重要的关系大大帮助苏丹港实现现代化,提高港口效率,如加深水道、增加泊位、实现装卸设备现代化和电子清关。虽然苏丹港通常不被视为“一带一路”倡议的一部分,但苏丹认为自己将在中国连接东亚与西欧、东非和西亚的发展计划中发挥关键作用。

《中国投资》:苏丹与中国的贸易合作还可以有哪些领域深化?

欧玛尔·伊萨·艾哈迈德:
中国与苏丹的合作是发展中国家间合作的典范,中国和苏丹的友谊已经跨越了半个多世纪。两个发展中国家的经济都有各自优势,经济上的互补性非常强,经贸往来频繁。中国一直在帮助苏丹发展经济,以重要伙伴的形式开发一些重要发展项目。两国仍有机会在很多方面加强双方贸易合作,例如基础设施发展项目、石油部门、电力、矿产、道路桥梁、农业自由经济区、特别工业区和食品加工业。谈到中国的进出口贸易,中国是苏丹最大的贸易伙伴,双方平等互利。中国公司目前的投资规模很大,而且在海港项目中也在增加。因此鉴于苏丹具有吸引力和竞争力的海岸,两国间的相关投资机会很多。

《中国投资》:非洲自贸区对苏丹与中国的贸易合作有哪些影响?

欧玛尔·伊萨·艾哈迈德:
非洲自由贸易区协定将为所有非洲国家间的投资和贸易创造机会;它还将使非洲自由贸易区加速非洲大陆的发展,提供更多就业机会,以实现可持续发展目标和非盟2063年议程。在非洲国家之间建立自由贸易区的协议将有助于通过“一带一路”倡议扩大贸易路线,因此中国企业一定会为许多非洲国家的自由贸易区建设作出贡献。在这方面,苏丹港不仅是苏丹的主要港口,而且作为非洲主要港口也是非洲腹地的出海口,因此将发挥好自己的作用。此外,这一地区一大项目将是达喀尔

苏丹港铁路。虽然还只是一个提案,如果一旦落实,它将成为非洲的最大规模项目之一,并在非洲大陆的陆地运输和贸易交换领域实现重大飞跃,使四个内陆国家获得出海通道,并为他们提供10,100公里长的铁路动脉。


红海自由贸易区在1999年开始运营,以配合苏丹的石油生产热潮,与苏丹港形成互补。它不仅服务于苏丹,还服务于许多非洲国家。拥有自由贸易区,意味着在这里商品可以自由地进出口。


经过过去15年的扩张,该地区现在承担着多种经济活动,为许多租户提供投资担保和税收优惠。2013年,政府宣布计划在未来几年吸引500名新投资者入驻红海自由贸易区。完成后,由于地理位置优越,则以地区将吸引国内外的许多投资。同时在海港公司(SPC)的领导下,整个港口正在经历重大的现代化升级。(编辑:杨海霞)