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Analysts See Paris Conference as Door to Sudan’s Return to International Community

Analysts See Paris Conference as Door to Sudan’s Return to International Community

Tuesday, 18 May, 2021 - 05:00
French President Emmanuel Macron (R) welcomes Sudan's Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok in Paris, May 17 2021. © Ludovic Marin, AFP

The Paris Conference represents a major economic importance for Sudan, but its political dimensions remain the most significant in the process of the country’s democratic transition.

Achieving political stability depends on the success of the transitional government in alleviating the burden of the heavy foreign debt and attracting major economic partnerships to advance the productive and service sectors, with the aim of overcoming the deteriorating economic crisis.

Sudan went to the conference after it had fulfilled all the requirements set by international financial institutions to undertake structural and legal reforms, which were represented in lifting subsidies, unifying the exchange rate and rationalizing government spending.

A number of experts see the Paris conference as an important milestone for the return of Sudan again as an active state within the international community. But it also provides a boost to overcome the current economic crisis that has been stifling the country for many years, given that economic reform strengthens the process of democratic transformation.

Other political analysts, including Khaled Al-Tijani, believe that the international community was late to respond to the major change that took place in the country. He noted that foreign powers were still in the stage of making promises without a serious commitment.

According to Tijani, the government is going to the conference believing that external debt is the main issue, and that there is no path to finding solutions to the economic crisis except through agreement with international financial institutions. In this regard, he emphasizes a lack of vision of what the conference could provide in terms of urgent or immediate solutions to the current crisis economic conditions.

For his part, political analyst Bashir Al-Sharif said that the conference was an economic gateway for Sudan’s political reintegration into the international community and global financial institutions, but the most important message was to confirm keenness to support the transition.

Sharif noted that the success of the conference was an indication that the situation in the country would move towards political and economic stability, adding that Khartoum would again assume its historical role and provide a pioneering model in the region.

Experts, who participated in the preparatory workshops for the conference, believe that the economic reforms implemented by the government enabled Sudan to obtain grants and loans from international and regional financial institutions.

Among the most important projects proposed by the Sudanese government is investment in infrastructure development, with a focus on seaports, railways, river transport and the national air carrier. Sudan hopes that these projects will attract international investors.

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