Malaysia’s Siti Noor Afera Abu and Nur Ashikin Abdul Aziz, two leading journalists with Bernama, wrote interesting story about Sudan and its huge touristic potentials. And within the context of exchange of news and reports, we are reproducing these interesting stories for Sudanow readers to enjoy.
SUDAN TO PROMOTE DIVERSE ATTRACTIONS, AIM TO DOUBLE TOURIST ARRIVALS
By Nur Ashikin Abdul Aziz
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 (Bernama) -- Untouched pristine beaches in Sudan’s Red Sea coastal area, is paradise for beach lovers especially diving-enthusiasts; albeit a little unknown to those outside the African-and-neighboring-European continent.
Famous for its clean-and-clear blue water, the spot is some of the must-visit places in Sudan, recommended by the country’s newly appointed ambassador to Malaysia, Hamza Omer Hassan Ahmed, adding his plans to promote the place and more to Malaysians.
The diplomat said Sudan in northern Africa is also a great place for adventure-loving tourists as the mountainous area of Jebel Mara gave climbers and hikers exhilarating views from the top, with waterfalls and volcanic lakes around the area.
“We received one million tourist arrivals annually and we are planning to double this number. Starting next year we will line up special programmes on tourism,” he told Bernama in an interview recently.
The ambassador said Sudan is also keenly promoting archaeological sites in the country, including the over 250 Nubian pyramids – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – part of the five archaeological sites, stretching more than 60 km in the Nile valley, which also includes temples, burial mounds and chambers, living complexes and palaces.
“We are now working with the Qatar government to help develop tourist attractions in Sudan. We also want to invite Malaysian government and companies to invest in tourism facilities and services, to develop the sector,” he added.
The ambassador noted that currently Malaysians could travel to Sudan via most gulf gateways such as Doha (Qatar), Dubai and Abu Dhabi (UAE), as well as Cairo (Egypt), and made easy with Visa-on-Arrival only for Malaysian passport holders, valid for the period of one month.
Hamza Omer added the Sudan Embassy in Malaysia encouraged and ready to assists any groups, including tour operators that would like to visit the country, noting that November till May as the best period to visit the big nation that has diverse weather.
Emphasizing that Sudan is now safe for tourists, he noted that one of the most important tasks to encourage tourism is by overcoming negative media propaganda that has marred the country’s reputation, especially during the unrest that resulted in South Sudan’s independence from Sudan, and sanctioned period by the US.
Touching on some 3,700 Sudanese population in Malaysia, which majority of them are students, Hamza Omer said he believed that Malaysia will continue to be Sudanese top choice for pursuing their undergraduate and postgraduate studies especially in engineering, social studies and computer sciences.
“During sanctions, Malaysia is the best place for Sudanese students to pursue their studies overseas and for training because the US, and most western countries blocked us. Even now that the sanctions are lifted, it will not affect the number of our students here as we are now more familiar with Malaysia,” he said.
The ambassador also invites Malaysians to pursue Islamic and Arabic language studies in Sudan, noting that the government offered scholarships for this purpose.
Sudan established its embassy here in 1991, while Malaysia officially established its embassy in the capital, Khartoum on Sept 30, 1999.
Sudan looking to enhance bilateral trade with Malaysia
By Siti Noor Afera Abu
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 7 (Bernama) -- Sudan is looking forward to enhancing and expanding bilateral trade with Malaysia after the United States (US) revoked the economic sanctions imposed on the country on Oct 6, 2017.
Its Ambassador to Malaysia, Hamza Omer Hassan Ahmed, said following the revocation, the two countries were no longer prohibited from engaging in trade.
The revocation would reflect positively on the various sectors of the Sudanese economy, including health services, education and research, infrastructure
nd other sectors, he said.
“Now it is possible for Malaysians to do business in Sudan as banking services will be more accessible and reliable, especially interbank fund transfers to and from Sudan.
“This will stabilise the country’s foreign exchange rate and encourage the inflow of direct investment from Malaysia to Sudan,” he told Bernama.
He said currently, the volume of trade and investment between the two countries is still small and the enormous potential had yet to be fully tapped.
“Malaysia's major exports to Sudan are palm oil, metal products and machinery, while its imports comprise mostly agricultural products such as Arabic gum, fruits, timber and black seeds, alongside petroleum products,” Hamza Omer said.
The ambassador said Malaysian investors could tap into the agricultural and livestock sectors in Sudan, which is big supplier of beef to Malaysia.
“Sudan is the best place to import beef from. The beef is very tasty, organic and chemical-free, and you can be sure it is 100 per cent halal," he said.
He also said Sudan was rich in natural resources and minerals, with a vast expanse of fertile agricultural land and potable water.
“The availability of vast areas of uncultivated land and a varied climate make Sudan suitable for growing cereal and horticulture crops,” said Hamza Omer.
Additionally, he urged Malaysian companies to invest in gold mining, saying the sector had promising prospects.
Meanwhile, he said Sudan’s Kenana Sugar Company (KSC), which is the largest integrated and diversified sugar factory in the world, had expressed readiness to bring its expertise and resources to help Malaysia diversify its sugar processing industry.
“It is possible for Malaysia to produce processed sugar even though the country does not have land for sugar cane plantation.
“Companies or individuals can invest in KSC and can buy land in Sudan for their sugarcane plantation and then repatriate the processed sugar to Malaysia,” he said.
Hamza Omer said Malaysia was one of the earliest countries to invest in Sudan, through Petronas in 1995, after the establishment of relations between Khartoum and Kuala Lumpur in 1991.
"Unfortunately, most of the oil wells now belong to South Sudan. Nevertheless, Petronas still has a big headquarters in Khartoum, one of the biggest in Africa," he said.
South Sudan seceded from Sudan and became an independent state in 2011.
The ambassador said the Sudan government was consistent in its endeavors to observe and maintain peace agreements with its neighbors.
"The political situation in the country is stable and peaceful and we will do our utmost to maintain such stability,” added Hamza Omer.
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