China and Sudan first established diplomatic ties in 1959. Since then, the two countries have forged close economic and trade relations.
China is now Sudan’s largest trade partner, and Sudan, in turn, ranks third among China’s African economic partners.
“The Chinese, Sudanese diplomatic ties have been some of the most distinguished ties we have had in our Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” said Sudan’s State Minister of Foreign Affairs Osama Faisal in an interview with CGTN.
In recent years, the footprint of Chinese companies has increased in Sudan.
Osama told CGTN that the Sudanese community and government appreciate very much the performance of Chinese companies led by the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).
The social corporate responsibility programs of these firms have contributed a lot to the country.
Osama invited more Chinese companies to invest in Sudan, collaborate with the private sector and explore the business opportunities there.
The Sudanese official pointed out, “In the very difficult time of Sudan, when there’s American sanctions on Sudan, the Chinese companies were operating in Sudan. They were the only companies with access to finance, and they were the only companies working with the Sudanese private sector in Sudan.”
In fact, the Sudanese government intends to fast-track all businesses coming from the Chinese side. Osama said, “We are intending to open new doors in sectors like minerals, tourism, meat production, and we are also intending to increase exports from Sudan to China.”
The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Beijing Summit 2018 will be held in September.
Osama told CGTN that it’s going to be a tremendous opportunity for African countries to forge closer cooperative ties with China and for Chinese companies to cooperate more with Africa.
He added that Sudan started economic cooperation with China a long time ago, and most of the neighboring countries got their economic relationship with China through Sudan.
Osama expressed belief that attending the upcoming summit provides a real opportunity for African countries.