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Sudan looking for solutions for its foreign debt problem

FIle photo of Sudanese currency [againstthecompass.com]
FIle photo of Sudanese currency [againstthecompass.com]

Sudan is facing a set of political and economic difficulties, notably the foreign debt owed to the country since the last century.

The Sudanese hope that the transitional government formed in August reaches a radical solution to the problem of external debt, amounting to $ 56 billion according to the latest official statistics.

The Sudanese economic journalist Shadia Arabi said that the non-removal of the name of Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list remains a stumbling block before the resolution of the issue of foreign debt at the moment, stressing to Anadolu Agency that the country has implemented all the budgetary requirements to benefit from the HIPC Initiative.

The HIPC initiative is an agreement among all significant international lenders to give a fresh start to countries struggling to find a way out that can cope with their debt burdens.

The Sudanese journalist explained that in the period 2000-2007, Sudan achieved “economic stability with the implementation of the policy of economic liberalisation since 1992. These conditions qualify the country to benefit from the HIPC Initiative. Arabi pointed out at the same time to the importance of “the continuation of economic reform policies in addition to making efforts with the United States to remove the name of the country from the terrorism list.”

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An economics professor at the University of Khartoum, Mohamad Al-Jak, considers that the external debt on Sudan: “is a complicated and long process that needs careful calculations, especially amid the current economic conditions,” which are preventing the new government from making a breakthrough in this issue, especially those related to multiple foreign currency exchange rates.

“It is important for the new government to achieve a balance between the need for short-term financial aids and the risk of borrowing at a high cost,” stressed Al-Jak.

On the sidelines of the recent IMF and World Bank meetings in Washington, Sudan’s Finance Minister Ibrahim El-Badawi discussed, during his meeting with Western officials, the challenges facing his country in obtaining international financial facilities due to the impact of the imposed US sanctions on the country since 1993.

On 6 October 2017, Washington lifted economic sanctions and a trade embargo imposed on the country since 1997, but has continued since 1993 to list the country on “State Sponsors of Terrorism list.”

Foreign debt has been hindering Sudan from obtaining any financial aid from international institutions, on top of which the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Since the mid-1980s, Sudan has been deprived of obtaining any international grants or loans, and international institutions have been only providing technical assistance in services.

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