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‘Eased US sanctions have no impact on Sudan’s market prices’: Traders

January 18 - 2017 SUDAN
File photo
File photo

Traders and market dealers have said that there has been no decrease in commodity prices, despite the government’s claim of the improved economic situation following the easing of US sanctions on Sudan.

A number of traders told Radio Dabanga that it is still too early to predict a decrease in commodity prices before ensuring the stability of the local currency against foreign currencies, and ruled out that this will be achieved in the near future.

Traders report a recession taking place in the markets after the US decision, saying the US Dollar's decrease has no impact on commodity prices. They say that will only occur if government fees are reduced, and the local industries encouraged.

Economists have also ruled out that there will be a price drop in the new budget for this year, which is mainly dependent on tax revenues to be paid by traders and citizens. They say it is too early to expect that a decrease of prices will have positive results on the market in the country.

Three years

They predict that “it may need about three years to strengthen the position of the local economy completely by increasing production, boosting exports, reducing imports and dispensing luxuries commodities for those manufactured locally”.

Economic analyst Hafez Ismail told Radio Dabanga that the US sanctions constitute a limited part of the problems facing the Sudanese economy.

He says the main problem in the task and way of managing the economy and called for strengthening of the productive sectors, tax reform, identifying priorities for fiscal spending, stop of war and reduction of spending on security activities for the benefit of production and social services.

He predicts “a limited effect of the easing of sanctions on living conditions, unless they are accompanied by an integrated plan for a real reform of the Sudanese economy with optimal staffing of resources”.

The agricultural crop market merchants in North Kordofan report a significant reduction in prices following the US announcement of the partial lifting of sanctions on Sudan.

Last week, the US ordered the easing of financial sanctions against Sudan in recognition of what the Obama administration says are positive actions in countering terrorism.

In one of its final acts before leaving office, the outgoing Obama administration took the steps as a show of goodwill toward the government of President Omar Al Bashir. The executive order issued on Friday 13 January revokes parts of a US trade embargo, in place since the Bill Clinton administration in 1997. President Obama also lifted a freeze on certain assets of Al Bashir's government, in light of Sudan's “positive actions over the past six months.

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