Kuala Lumpur- (Sudanow Info.)– Khartoum is preparing to host the Sudanese-Malaysian Trade and Investment Forum during next November 1-5, in which the Export-Import Bank of Malaysia (EXIM Bank) is to participate for the first time.
In an exclusive interview to SUNA in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, Sudan Ambassador to Malaysia Nadir Yousif Al-Tayeb said the participation of EXIM in the forum would facilitate the banking transactions between Sudan and Malaysia as the issue of financial transfers was among the main barriers facing the investment and financial movement between the two countries.
Over 40 Malaysian private and public sector institutions would also take part in the forum, said the ambassador, describing such intensive Malaysian participation in the forum, including EXIM, as “a positive and important step” in the progress of the Sudanese-Malaysian ties.
He said the forum was initiated by the Sudanese-Malaysian Friendship Society in Kuala Lumpur in response to the Sudan Investment and Cultural Week held there in 1995, when the society was chaired by Prof. Abdul-Hadi Abdul-Samad, adding that the week had greatly encouraged the joint Sudanese-Malaysian investments, namely the investments of the Malaysian PETRONAS Company in the Sudanese oil field.
He pointed out that they have been arranging for the forum for 8 months now, explaining that the convocation of the forum was proposed during the visit of the Sudanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali Karti to Malaysia last February this year.
He said the forum would be convened under the auspices of the Sudanese Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Malaysian Foreign Ministry which supported the forum and its accompanying exhibition together with the Malaysian Ministry of International Trade.
“The Malaysian Ministry of International Trade initiated to include this forum in the official activities patronized by the ministry represented in MATRID Institution which is concerned with foreign trade for current 2012”, the ambassador said.
He said the move allowed them to contact all the Malaysian companies affiliating to the Malaysian foreign ministry and hold a press conference to enlighten all the companies at MATRID, pointing out that the move also allowed MATRID to support all the companies participating in this forum and its accompanying exhibition.
He pointed out that Malaysia’s response to the forum was qualitatively very good as the forum covers all possible fields of cooperation between the two countries, saying that Malaysian companies operating in fields of construction, computer and digital technology, oil and gas, industry and agriculture would participate in the forum.
The Malaysian Ministry of Tourism would also participate in the exhibition with a special wing to avail the opportunity for the Sudanese people to get acquainted with Malaysia’s tourist potentialities, he said, reiterating that this intensive Malaysian participation would avail the opportunity for the Sudanese public and private sector to communicate with their Malaysian counterparts.
In the meantime, the ambassador said that Sudan would utilize the forum to follow up what had been agreed upon with some institutions, noting that they would work to sign an agreement between Sudan’s Gezira State and Kuala Lumpur International Air-port Authority to establish an airport in Gezira State.
The idea of establishing Gezira State’s airport was initiated during the visit of Gezira State Wali (Governor) Prof. Al-Zubair Bashir Taha to Malaysia last year, he said.
He went on saying that other agreements would be signed with Malaysian companies, namely on meat exports to Malaysia, and further agreements between Sudanese and Malaysian universities in fields of higher education, researches and lecturers and students exchange.
Around 60 Malaysians, representing about 42 Malaysian public and private sector companies and institutions, would take part in the forum, he affirmed, explaining that some companies would participate in the forum and some in the exhibition only.
The Sudanese ambassador to Malaysia further expected the forum to be very successful, urging the Sudanese in the public and private sectors, who are willing to deal with Malaysia in terms of investment, trade or training, to snatch this chance.
He reiterated that the participating Malaysian companies and institutions enjoy great experiences in their respective fields and willing to deal directly with the Sudanese companies and institutions.
He explained that Sudan and the Sudanese have faced some issues recently concerning training and travel of the Sudanese students to Malaysia, stressing that the Malaysian companies which would take part in the forum were keen to sign agreements with similar institutions in Sudan so that the Sudanese universities and training institutions would deal directly with the Malaysian universities.
In the meantime, Ambassador Al-Tayeb invited all the Sudanese universities, in particular the state universities willing to directly communicate with the Malaysian universities in domain of higher education; and the training and capacity building institutions, to take part in this forum, saying that signing of such cooperation agreements would help in redirecting the capabilities and potentialities and putting them on the right path.
He further invited the Sudanese building and construction companies to participate in the forum, explaining that some of the Malaysian companies would display, for the first time, new technologies in field of construction with less cost, not to mention some great Malaysian companies willing to work in strategic projects in Sudan within the context of the State’s policy for constructing housing units for the State’s employees.
He added that the National Housing Fund would be one of the patronages of the forum as it has an agreement with a Malaysian company in this respect, urging the states and other companies operating in this field to make use of this available opportunity, particularly that Malaysia has a long-standing experience in housing-issue resolving as it currently has thousands of housing units for the state employees with reasonable prices and conditions.
Regarding field of digital technologies, the ambassador said that there are Malaysian companies seeking to communicate with Sudanese counterparts and public and private sector institutions to provide advanced services in field of digital and agriculture technologies, noting that the Malaysians believe that Sudan is enjoying huge agricultural potentialities that only need introduction of modern technologies to reduce the cost and increase the production together with the need for good marketing as some of the participating Malaysian companies enjoy a great marketing experience.
Through coordination between Sudan and Malaysia, Sudan is looking forward to giving the world products of high quality, matter which would increase the added value of the Sudanese products that have mostly been sold as crude material and not a final consumer product, he said.
As for the Halal meat products, the ambassador explained that the efforts of the forum would be utilized so that Sudan would manage to establish a center for Hala products, like in Malaysia, to increase its Halal exports to the region, pointing out that the world’s Halal products market surpasses 3 trillion U.S Dollars.
With a little effort and coordination with Malaysia in this field, Sudan could be a pioneer in domain of Halal products in Africa and the Middle East, taking into account its strategic location, he said, pointing out that the forum would be accompanied by a seminar on Halal products to be organized in cooperation between the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Trade, the Sudanese Islamic Fiqh (Jurisdiction) Academy and the Malaysian Fiqh Council and Halal Administration.