Tony Burke MP, His Excellency Dr. Ibrahim Baroudi and Mike Rizk
The First Australia Sudan Business Forum
Sudan is very rich in a diverse range of natural resources
Agriculture is the mainstream industry in Sudan
Sydney - M E Times Int'l: The First Australia Sudan Business Forum was held recently at Canterbury Leagues Club. The Republic of Sudan’s Australian Ambassador Dr Ibrahim Baroudi spoke at the First Australian Sudan Business Forum to local business people and entrepreneurs. Michael Rizk, Director of the Australian Lebanese Chamber of Commerce, welcomed all those in attendance, and introduced speakers during the forum.
Mike Rizk welcoming everyone to the Forum
MR. Rizk spoke highly of His Excellency Dr Ibrahim Baroudi for the great effort he has made since his arrival and the recent opening of the Sudanese Embassy in Canberra. He said this first event is a clear indication that a strong business relation will develop between Sudan and Australia and will be of great benefit to both countries. A speech by his excellency followed that officially welcomed attendees and gave a comprehensive talk about the current economic climate in the Republic of Sudan.
Speech by Dr Baroudi
It’s my pleasure to welcome our distinguished and official guest from both Australia and Sudan to our First Australia Sudan Business Forum. We are delighted to have you here with us today and most appreciative of the fact that you have made a great effort to come all the way from overseas and interstate.
I was deeply honoured when I was appointed as the first Ambassador to represent my country the Republic of Sudan, in this beautiful country of Australia. Since my appointment, I have made great efforts to learn about Australia and what it can offer to Sudan. Similarly, I have a better picture of what we in Sudan can also offer in areas of trade and services.
The road is long and hard with much more to learn on both sides as we strongly believe through such forums to pave the way to enhance bilateral trade between our two countries. I am certain that with a serious and genuine effort we can both alter this situation for the benefits of both our countries Australia and Sudan.
His Excellency Dr. Ibrahim Baroudi
Australia and Sudan share many common grounds economically, climatically, topographically, geographical gateways and even comparable population size. Briefly, both economies are dependent on mining and agriculture, with similar aridity and expansive lands. Also, both countries are regional major gateways, with Australia opening onto the Asian region and Sudan being a highway to Africa and Middle East.
As an embassy we have reached out to businesses, associations, government departments, chambers of commerce to build good relations and provide information about doing business with Sudan.
Ladies and gentlemen, please allow me to provide you with a brief picture of the current opportunities in my country.
Geographically, Sudan is the third largest country in Africa by area – situated in the heart of the African continent and with long established historic role as a colossal gateway between the Red Sea, the sub- Sahara.
Like Australia, Sudan is very rich in a diverse range of natural resources, and is ranked ninth in the world and third in Africa in the production of Gold, over 100 tonnes of purified gold annually.
Other mining reserves include oil and gas fields already producing in excess of 500,000 barrels daily since 1999; and further exploration is underway with Canada, China, Malaysia, Russia and others. Other mining opportunities includes chrome, manganese, zinc, aluminium, cobalt, copper, uranium, iron ore, coal, lithium, mineral sands and nickel.
Agriculture: is the mainstream industry in Sudan. With the Nile river running through it, Sudan has more than 150 million hectares of arable land. The climate is suitable for all types of crops, and water irrigation is readily available and/or natural. Sudan specialises in cereal production (sorghum, millet, wheat, corn and rice), crops (cotton, sugar, peanuts, sesame, and gum Arabic), and tropical fruits and vegetables.
Livestock: Sudan is highly regarded in both the Middle East and Africa for its livestock and animal resources with more than 120 million heads. The country has resources, which include cattle, camels, sheep, goats, poultry, horses, and an annual stock of more than 110,000 tonnes of fish. The most important animal products in Sudan are milk, meat, poultry, skins, fur and wool.
Panel of Experts; His Excellency, Jonathan Shahady, Phil Miller and Gordon Geddes
Transport: As Africa’s third-largest country and bordering seven countries, Sudan offers great opportunities for investment in the transport sector. The weakness in the transport network remains one of the greatest constraints to the economy.
Sudan Industrial base includes is far and wide. Industries include car and truck assembly, electrical cables, pipes, electronic and communication devices, white and brown goods, commercial appliances in food, textiles, laser etc…. To date, overseas investments included industrial countries India, Brazil, Korea, Turkey, Malaysia, China, Russia, France, Italy, United Kingdom and others. Further areas of opportunities include agri-processing, food, spinning and textiles, leather, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, oil and soap, engineering, building materials and refractories, and printing and packaging etc…. We have a young skilled and cheap labour base eager to participate and contribute.
Sudan has great and unique tourism from ancient monuments dating back tens of thousands of years. The ancient, monuments include over 200 pyramids from the Kingdoms Kush and Merowe in northern Sudan. Of world class interest are the relics and archaeological treasures of a series of ancient Nubian civilizations, Christian kingdoms and Islamic empires that remain scattered throughout the land. Further examples, of UNESCO registered sites include Gabble Al Barkal with Nubian civilization that ruled all the way to ancient Palestine.
In addition, the famous Red Sea with a coast line of over 300 kilometres of coral reefs and sea plants offer tourist a unique and unspoilt natural experience. Sanjaneb Island was recently registered as a world heritage site with its own exploration resorts.
The two Niles both Blue and White confluence in the capital Khartoum and meander through cataracts all the way to the Nile Delta ending in the Mediterranean Sea, with eco-tourism and abundant wildlife. Sudan is a tourist country and seeks to attract tourists, but needs the necessary infrastructure to promote the tourist resources and train employees in tourism and the field of professional five-star hospitality. The Dinder Wildlife National Park established in 1935 as a game reserve is approximately 2,470-square-mile.
Sudan always valued a high level of education but is still in need of Certified and Structured Vocational Skills. Broadly speaking, the areas include technical and know how support in:
• Administrative and service sectors such as managerial skills in business, administration, customer service, human resource and mass media specialist.
• Engineering fields - electrical, electronic system, mechanical and civil engineering, planning and aviation engineering.
• Health Workers and Services - nurse aids, para medics, dieticians, exercise physiologists and other allied medical aids and therapists.
• Vocational Training and Technical Schools - machinery and electrical technicians, furniture designers and assemblers, metal and plate forming and welding in acute demand, chemical mixing machine operators, machine setters, rapid construction and use of various materials.
• Certified Practical Courses in: Agriculture, Agronomy, Cropping, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry, Poultry, Food Preservation and Processing, Irrigation and Water Management, Metrology, Metallurgy, Mining, Geology etc…
• Foreign investment in Sudan presents great opportunities for Australian investors. Grants, long ranged tax and customs holiday has already attracted investors from the Gulf region, Asia, Europe and South American countries prior to the lifting of economic sanctions in 2017.
Jonathan Shahady, Gordon Geddes, Tony Burke MP, His Excellency
Dr. Ibrahim Baroudi and Ahmed Bayoumi
I like to extend my deep appreciation to both Michael Rizk and Camil Gereis from the Australian Lebanese Chamber of Commerce for helping us to organise this event, and speed introductions with the business community in Australia.
I also like to re-iterate that our door is always open to anyone who is interested in doing trade between the two countries.
Once again, your attendance Ladies and Gentlemen is deeply appreciated and please enjoy the rest of the event and the luncheon that follows.
Presentations by Exhibitors and Panellists
Following the speech by Dr Baroudi there was a presentation by Ghanem Ateyah who showed a short video that highlighted the beauty and opportunity in Sudan. Follow this presentation several entrepreneurs spoke of their own experience and innovation in working in overseas markets.
The first was Musa Nader who spoke of his experience with his company’s involvement in mining in Sudan. The Sudanese Australia Trade and Investment Company Ltd (SATICO) gave a start to the development that launched the idea of mining iron ore that lead to the development of the Ministry of Minerals. The continued development has expanded to other minerals and metals, in particular gold that is expected to make Sudan an emerging world supplier of gold. From the humble start of SATICO there are now a growing number of international mining corporations looking at opportunities in Sudan.
The next speaker was Phil Miller of Globe Agricultural Company Ltd, who has established a model for the development of a profitable and large scale agricultural business. Using experience from Australian he said entrepreneurs are finding excellent opportunity to work with local communities. He added that the soil, climate and irrigation with appropriate technology transfer can yield successful crops for local and neighbouring markets in the GCC, Europe and Asia.
Alan Todhunter Middle East Times Journalist and His Excellency Dr. Ibrahim Baroudi
A panel of business leaders and professional followed by sharing their knowledge and experience in Sudan, including His Excellency, Jonathan Shahady of the TBH Group, an expert in project management who has developed business in the Middle East and now looking at Sudan, Phil Miller and Gordon Geddes, an innovator in start-up businesses, including Lynx Solar Systems. An important theme by the panellists is that it is essential to understand how to do business in Sudan and how to apply expertise in the emerging Sudanese market. An important step is to find local representatives and follow it through to get business done.
At the conclusion of the panel local MP Tony Burke Federal MP of Watson thanked those in attendance and spoke of the importance of cooperation with international partners and not lose sight of the long term benefits to the community.
Mike Rizk thanked the panellists and those promoting products including Brett Ruth Rural Chemical Industries Pty Ltd, Ghanim Ataia who owns a vocational college and David Mumford promoting RBK Nutraceutical health supplements.
Ahmed Bayoumi Counsellor Sudan Embassy delivered a vote of thanks and invited those in attendance to a networking luncheon.