Sudan will sign strategic partnership agreements with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in a move that is set to boost trade and investment, the Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reported yesterday.
The announcement was made by the Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir during an official visit to Bahrain and will mean that the African state will be given financial aid, establish trade and agricultural investment projects and set up security and military cooperation agreements.
Following a meeting with Bahrain's King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa, Al Bashir confirmed the news of the new deal with the GCC and also announced that Sudan and Bahrain have agreed to form a ministerial committee to boost trade and investment between the two counties and to open a new Bahraini Embassy in the Sudanese capital Khartoum.
In a statement also to SUNA, Sudan's Ambassador to Bahrain, Abdul Rahman Khalil Ahmed, said the visit was the first by the Sudanese president in 17 years and came at a time when the Arab world was experiencing major political, regional and security challenges.
The ambassador said that Bahrain had made technological and electronic advances that Sudan could benefit from and that Sudan's mineral, agricultural and animal resources could be of great benefit to Bahrain.
Al-Bashir visited Kuwait on Tuesday where he also signed a number of initiatives which will lead to investment in agricultural projects. "Sudan has prepared a list of 220 development projects of which 79 have been approved," said Sudan's Foreign Minister, Professor Ahmed Ghandour, in a statement to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).
Sudan's active participation in the Saudi-led partnership military alliance waging war against the Iran-backed Shia Houthis in Yemen and the huge agricultural investment in the Red Sea is believed to have prompted the GCC partnership agreement.
GCC countries import 60-90 per cent of food requirements because of their limited land and water resources. The region's total land area of about 259 million hectares only has 1.7 per cent under cultivation. Sudan's vast land and water resources are perceived as ripe for agricultural development investment. Sudan has the potential to supply all the cereal, sugar, food and other essential foodstuff needs of the GCC.