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Sudan lifts ban on Egyptian products

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A vendor sells vegetables and fruits in Cairo (Reuters file photo)
October 25, 2018 (KHARTOUM) — President Omer al-Bashir Thursday decided to allow the importation of several Egyptian goods, putting an end to the ban imposed two years ago.

Al-Bashir announced his decision at the end of a visit of the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to Khartoum for talks on bilateral relations.

"Today I signed a decision to lift the ban on the entry of Egyptian products to Sudan, to remove all obstacles to the movement of trade and people between the two countries," al-Bashir said in a joint press conference with the Egyptian counterpart al-Sisi in Khartoum.

The decision ended a ban announced in September 2016 for the importation of vegetables, fruits and fish from Egypt following reports about cases of strawberries from Egypt causing chronic hepatitis and other diseases.

The list was extended to include additional products in March 2017. Also, Khartoum refused to cancel the temporary of September 2015 after the deterioration of bilateral relations over many issues.

The ban contributed to the deteriorating relations between the two countries because due international sanctions and the lack of hard currency, Egypt increased its exportations to the became one of the main suppliers to Sudan.

In May 2017, the government directed traders to import products directly from the countries of origin and stop importing it through Egypt after discovering that rotten products entered into the country via Egypt.

For its part, the National Chamber of Importers in Sudan praised the decision to lift the ban on the import of Egyptian products.

The deputy head of the chamber, Hassab Alrasool Mohamed Ahmed, said that the lifting of the ban on Egyptian products will encourage the private sector in the two countries, pointing to the geographic proximity and competitive prices.

Also, the two countries Thursday signed 12 agreements including the implementation of electricity linkage projects and railways, as well as memorandums of understanding on trade, education, migration, development and media.

President Bashir pledged to follow up the implementation of these agreements and improve relations to a level that satisfies the aspirations of the two peoples.

For his part, President al-Sisi said that international trade today encourages the formation of regional economic blocs and called to develop economic relations between the two countries.

(ST)

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