Turkish companies aim to back economic progress in Sudan where major drawback is inadequate production technology

Sudan needs an investment of nearly $500 billion in various sectors, acting president of a Turkish business association said.

Harun Macit, who represents A New World Industrialist and Businessmen’s Association (YENIAD), said the major drawback in Sudan is its inadequate production technology.

He added that Sudan is among the top three African countries having gold and copper mines, and Turkish businesspeople can play an important role in the country’s mining industry.

“Due to the lack of proper mining technology they [Sudanese people] have limitations. Below the surface, a large amount of precious metals are waiting to be explored,” he said.

Macit urged Turkish businesspeople to establish a system to process those metals and integrate them with Turkey’s gold exchange market to provide overseas finance for Sudan.

He said five consortiums were set with Sudanese and Turkish businesspeople in the fields of construction, energy, mining, agriculture and machinery during a business trip organized by YENIAD in February.

“Preliminary agreements worth $1.2 billion were signed between Turkish businesspeople and Sudanese ministry officials along with private sector representatives during the visit,” Macit said.

Roads, hotels, schools

“We believe that those business agreements will be realized this year and completed in five years,” Macit said.

He noted that the construction consortium includes building roads, bridges, hotels, schools and infrastructure works.

“We also plan to establish a factory in Turkey to process gum arabic and we will sell it to the whole world from Turkey.”

In 2014, Turkey and Sudan signed an agreement to rationalize resources and agricultural potential and contribute to sustainable food objectives.

Under the agreement, around 780,000 hectares across five regions were earmarked for investment by Turkish entrepreneurs.

He added that talks were underway for establishing livestock laboratories based on international standards in Sudan.

“We have made some agreements on livestock as Sudan is one of the largest animal-breeding countries in Africa,” Macit said, adding that the move will enable Sudan to import worldwide.

Energy, software

In February, $50-million agreements in the fields of water and energy were signed, including construction of a dam on River Nile.

“We also offered Sudanese officials cooperation in software eduction by providing a turnkey system for schools in the country.”

He said the association is also planning to make similar business agreements in Malaysia, Morocco, Pakistan, Jordan and South American countries, this year.

The investment may be increased, he said, if bureaucratic hurdles are removed and financial infrastructure improved in Sudan.

“We believe we will exceed targets set by presidents of both countries,” he said.

A bilateral trade volume target of $10 billion was announced by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his visit to Sudan in December.

Turkey’s exports to Sudan totaled $395.2 million in 2017 while imports from the country stood at $86.2 million.