After oil deal, businessmen and employers Sudan hopeful for border trade
The Sudanese Businessmen and Employers Federation (SBEF) welcomes the long-awaited oil deal between Sudan and South Sudan. The federation calls the agreement ‘an important signal’ and hopes trade between the two countries will be resumed in the near future.
The Secretary General of the federation, Bakri Yusuf Omer Al-Amin, told the Sudan News Agency on Tuesday the oil deal gives him ‘good faith’ in agreements on other outstanding issues. Resolving issues such as border security and demarcation would allow Sudanese traders to cross the – now closed – border with South Sudan again.
Bakri said opening the border ‘would be a positive thing for people living on both sides. It will boost development and achieves economic stability’.
He believes free movement between Sudan and South Sudan has the potential to contribute to social stability in the fragile border region as people from both sides have ‘common interests’. Sudan traders have ‘a similar consumption pattern’, Bakri said, ‘unlike the traders who are currently working in the border states’. He referred to the recent influx of traders and businessmen in the region coming from Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.
The closure of the 1800km border between the Sudans completely halted trade between the countries. The cost of basic commodities in border states like Northern Barh el Ghazal has tripled as the goods have to be imported from other East African countries.
Delegations from Sudan and South Sudan planned to return to the negotiating table in Addis Ababa the end of September this year.