Sudan Trade, Exports and Imports

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Sudan’s trade suffers from several tariff and non-tariff barriers, despite persistent efforts by the government to liberalize trade. According to the Index of Economic Freedom, trade with Sudan was subject to a high weighted average tariff rate of 11.4 percent in 2008. Import restrictions, discriminatory taxes, delays in customs clearance and non-transparent regulations are some of the factors impeding Sudanese trade.

Sudan’s trade suffers from several tariff and non-tariff barriers, despite persistent efforts by the government to liberalize trade. According to the Index of Economic Freedom, trade with Sudan was subject to a high weighted average tariff rate of 11.4 percent in 2008. Import restrictions, discriminatory taxes, delays in customs clearance and non-transparent regulations are some of the factors impeding Sudanese trade. Sudan has been deemed as one of the 10 most corrupt countries in the world, which makes Sudanese trade riddled with unfair practices, adding to its overall cost of trade.

Sudan Trade, Exports and Imports: Snapshot

In 2010, Sudan has a current account deficit of US$5.79 billion. Crude oil and petroleum were the key export commodities of the nation, followed by cotton and sesame. Other chief Sudan export items are:

 

  • Livestock

  • Gum Arabic

  • Groundnuts

  • Sugar

     

     

A rise in imports is a key factor responsible for Sudan’s trade deficit. According to the CIA, Sudan’s imports rise from $8.25 billion in 2009 to $8.48 billion in 2010. Some chief import commodities of Sudan are:

 

  • Manufactured goods

  • Transport equipment

  • Medicines

  • Chemicals

     

     

The share of Sudan’s export and import partners in its total trade, according to CIA World Factbook reports for 2009, was:

Exports

 

Imports

 

China

58.3%

China

21.9%

Japan

14.7%

Saudi Arabia

7.2%

Indonesia

8.83%

Egypt

6.1%

 

 

Sudan Trade, Exports and Imports Agreements 

Sudan applied for WTO membership in 1995 and submitted its memorandum on the Foreign Trade Regime in 1999. Although the nation is yet to be inducted as a WTO member, it nonetheless benefits from trade-related technical support programs offered by the WTO. The Sudanese Commission has also conducted several informal bilateral trade agreements with several member states of the WTO, including the USA, EU, Australia, Canada and Brazil.

 

Additionally, to improve the status of Sudan’s trade, the government has created several trade reforms, including the establishment of state subsidizes to influence the prices of trade commodities. The government also introduced a new currency in 2007, the Sudanese Pound, with an initial exchange rate of US$1 equals 2 Sudanese Pounds. Despite these efforts, implementation of these reforms of the last few years has been slow, subject to frequent delays.