Foreign Investment Overview
- FDI inflow, 2017: USD 1,065.3M
- Of the transition countries in the Horn, Sudan’s FDI flows are the highest; Sudan has consistently attracted over USD 1B annually.
- After the independence of South Sudan in 2011, Sudan received a large amount of FDI in 2012. This investment amount began to stabilize towards 2016.
- 63 Greenfield projects were implemented from 2003-2015.
- Sudan’s largest investment projects were in the oil industry.
- China, Germany, and Qatar are the largest investors in the country.
Sudan’s total GDP and FDI
- Sudan has the largest GDP of all countries considered, and the second largest population.
- Sudan has seen strong GDP growth (over 4% every year for the last three years).
- GDP per capita is the second highest of all the transition states (USD 2,899) and is growing at 2% per annum
- Trading (retail), transportation and business services are the largest contributors to services growth. Business services receive the second highest amount of FDI (after fossil fuels), and transportation receives the third highest.
- Industrial sector is driven by fossil fuels with opportunities for gold production.
- Agriculture production is dominated by sorghum (the staple food in Sudan), livestock and oilseeds.
- Manufacturing, particularly automobile, shows potential as fourth highest contributor to GDP, with significant FDI.
- Sudan recently cut ties to North Korea, as part of the lifting of the US embargo, removing conflict of interest for South Korean investors. The embargo was lifted in October 2017 and has opened this market to new investment.
- In 2017, the South Korean state-run media (Yonhap) signed a news exchange deal with Sudan’s state-run agency SUNA.
- Recent major FDI includes:
- USD 1.6B into a German-owned lubricant plant (2010)
- USD 150M from Saudi Arabia into a Khartoum industrial park (2017)
- USD 1.1B by an Egyptian pharmaceutical (2015)
- However, investors should be cautious of growing instability in the region. In September 2018, President Omar al-Bashir dissolved his government; inflation has risen to over 65%; and food prices have doubled recently.
South Korean Alignment
- Sudan contributes less than 1% to South Korean imports and receives less than 1% of export goods from South Korea. This is partly owing to a long-standing relationship with North Korea but now that it has ended, import and export may increase.
- Recent investments in pharmaceuticals, cement and rubber align with South Korea’s expertise in products similar to rubber, in construction, and potentially within chemicals.