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Sudan signs MoU with US EXIM bank to finance $1bn worth of investment

January 8 - 2021 KHARTOUM
Finance Minister, Heba Mohamed, and US EXIM bank President, Kimberly Reed, hold up signed MoU between Sudan and US on January 7 (Social media)
Finance Minister, Heba Mohamed, and US EXIM bank President, Kimberly Reed, hold up signed MoU between Sudan and US on January 7 (Social media)

The Sudanese Ministry of Finance and the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a loan of $1 billion yesterday.

Finance Minister, Heba Mohamed, said in a joint press conference that the visit of the EXIM delegates will cement partnerships and strengthen economic relations between Sudan and the US.

The loan will be used for the development of vital economic sectors, most notably infrastructure, energy, water, agriculture, aviation, said Mohamed, who expects this to be the starting point for major corporate American investment in Sudan.

EXIM President, Kimberly Reed, said that she admires the changes that have taken place in Sudan, expressing her aspiration to develop the economic relationship between the two countries.

The American embassy in Khartoum said that the agreement between Sudan and the bank allows the civilian government to obtain financing that includes loans, guarantees, and insurance, in order to finance US exports to the country with up to $1 billion.

The US bank and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport agreed to set up an implementation mechanism to encourage investment and financing between Sudan and the US.

Infrastructure Minister, Hashim Ibn Auf, said that the meeting touched on ways to communicate with the American administration and transportation. It was agreed that all laws that contribute to developing relations with the US will be prepared soon, such as the Trade Law, Partnerships Law, and the Investment Promotion Project.

Reed promised that she will ensure continuous communication takes place between Sudan and EXIM, through the American embassy. After banking reforms are completed in order to prepare Sudanese banks for this agreement, a branch of the US Chamber of Commerce in Sudan will also be opened, she said.

Anti-corruption

Minister of Justice, Nasreldin Abdelbari, announced that his ministry has completed the Anti-Corruption Commission Act, following his meeting with EXIM yesterday.

During the meeting, the minister explained that the ministry contributes to a number of legislative reforms to lay a strong basis for investment. He said that the ministry prioritises the development and modernisation of the commercial registrar in cooperation with the World Bank, and assured the delegation of the importance of focusing on investment in the field of mining, agriculture, and health.

The MoU comes one day after the Ministry of Finance and the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Khartoum to liquidate Sudan’s arrears to the World Bank and enable Sudan to obtain more than $1 billion.

Secretary Mnuchin was paying a one-day visit to Sudan to discuss settling Sudan’s debt to the World Bank, the economic situation, financial transparency, and normalisation of ties with Israel. The US confirmed Sudan’s removal from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list in December 2019.

Sudan's external debt of at least $60 billion impedes the process of economic development in the country.

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