October 15, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese trade minister Osman Omer Al-Sharif said they finalised a draft agreement aiming to simplify trade with the neighbouring South Sudan, eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers, and recognise each other’s standards .
The minister said the bilateral trade agreement, which comes in line with the four freedoms agreement inked in September 2012 includes banking arrangements related to accuracy in settling payments for inbound and outbound payments.
The draft agreement, according to Sharif, further speaks about consultations and coordination, between Khartoum and Juba, in international fora, but also includes dispositions aiming to facilitate the flow of merchandise between the two sides of border.
The Sudanese foreign ministry held last week a meeting attended by different ministries tasked with the implementation of the four freedoms agreement to coordinate positions and prepare for meetings they have to hold with their South Sudanese counterparts.
Presidents Omer Al-Bashir and Salva Kiir agreed during a summit held in Khartoum last September to commission the foreign ministries in both countries with the coordination of over 36 joint committees tasked with the implement of the Cooperation Agreement.
After the holidays of Al-Eid, a delegation from the trade ministry will visit the border states with the South Sudan to prepare dispositions for the crossing points and river ports between the two countries.
Sudanese interior minister Ibrahim Mahmoud recently announced from New York Sudan’s readiness to resume trade activities with the South Sudan and urged international pressures on the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North to engage talks to end the conflict in the two border states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan.