Sudan Economy, GDP, Budget, Industry and Agriculture


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Sudan Economy

View the information below regarding the economy of Sudan. The summary and statistics contains gdp, industry, agriculture and more for Sudan. If you need other information please visit the Sudan Country Page.

  • Sudan Government
  • Sudan People
  • Sudan Geography
  • Sudan History

    GDP (2000 est.): $11 billion.
    GDP annual growth rate (2001 est.): 6%.
    Per capita income GDP (2001 est.): $300.
    Avg. annual inflation rate (2001 est.): 13%.
    Natural resources: modest reserves of oil, natural gas, gold, iron ore, copper, and other industrial metals.
    Agriculture (40% of GNP): Products--cotton, peanuts, sorghum, sesame seeds, gum arabic, sugarcane, livestock.
    Industry: Types-- motor vehicle assembly, cement, cotton, edible oils and sugar refining.
    Trade (2000 est.): Exports--$1.8 billion: crude oil and petroleum products, cotton, gold, sorghum, peanuts, gum arabic, sugar, meat, hides, live animals, and sesame seeds.Major markets-- Egypt, Persian Gulf states, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, China, South Korea. Imports--$1.5 billion: oil and petroleum products, oil pipeline, pumping and refining equipment, chemical products and equipment, wheat and wheat flour, transport equipment, food stuffs, tea, agricultural inputs and machinery, industrial inputs and manufactured goods. Major suppliers--European Union, China, Malaysia, Canada, England, Italy, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the Gulf states. Fiscal year: July 1-June 30.

    Economy of Sudan
    Sudanís primary resources are agricultural, but oil production and export are taking on greater importance since October 2000. Although the country is trying to diversify its cash crops, cotton and gum Arabic remain its major agricultural exports. Grain sorghum (dura) is the principal food crop, and wheat is grown for domestic consumption. Sesame seeds and peanuts are cultivated for domestic consumption and increasingly for export. Livestock production has vast potential, and many animals, particularly camels and sheep, are exported to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and other Arab countries. However, Sudan remains a net importer of food. Problems of irrigation and transportation remain the greatest constraints to a more dynamic agricultural economy.

    The countryís transportation facilities consist of one 4,800-kilometer (2, 748-mi.), single-track railroad with a feeder line, supplemented by limited river steamers, Sudan airways, and about 1,900 km. (1,200 mi.) of paved and gravel road--primarily in greater Khartoum, Port Sudan, and the north. Some north-south roads that serve the oil fields of central/south Sudan have been built; and a 1,400 km. (840 mi.) oil pipeline goes from the oil fields via the Nuba Mountains and Khartoum to the oil export terminal in Port Sudan on the red Sea.

    Sudanís limited industrial development consists of agricultural processing and various light industries located in Khartoum North. In recent years, the GIAD industrial complex introduced the assembly of small autos and trucks, and some heavy military equipment such as armored personnel carriers and the proposed ďBashirĒ main battle tank. Although Sudan is reputed to have great mineral resources, exploration has been quite limited, and the countryís real potential is unknown. Small quantities of asbestos, chromium, and mica are exploited commercially.

    Extensive petroleum exploration began in the mid-1970s and might produce all of Sudanís needs. Significant finds were made in the Upper Nile region and commercial quantities of oil began to be exported in October 2000, reducing Sudanís outflow of foreign exchange for imported petroleum products. There are indications of significant potential reserves of oil and natural gas in southern Sudan, the Kordofan region and the Red Sea province.

    Sudan is seeking to expand its installed capacity of electrical generation of around 300 megawatts--of which 180 MW is hydroelectric and the rest, thermal. European investors, considering the continuing U.S. economic, trade, and financial sanctions regime, are the most likely providers of technology for this purpose. More than 70% of Sudanís hydropower comes from the Roseires Dam on the Blue Nile grid. Various projects are proposed to expand hydropower, thermal generation, and other sources of energy, but so far the government has had difficulty arranging sufficient financing.

    Historically, the U.S., the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and other Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) national traditionally have supplied most of Sudanís economic assistance. Sudanís role as an economic link between Arab and African countries is reflected by the presence in Khartoum of the Arab Bank for African development. The World Bank had been the largest source of development loans.

    Sudan will require extraordinary levels of program assistance and debt relief to manage a foreign debt exceeding $13 billion, more than the countryís entire annual GDP. During the late 1970s and 1980s, the IMF, World Bank, and key donors worked closely to promote reforms to counter the effect of inefficient economic policies and practices. By 1984, a combination of factors, including drought, inflation, and confused application of Islamic law, reduced donor disbursements and capital flight led to a serious foreign-exchange crisis and increased shortages of imported inputs and commodities. More significantly, the 1989 revolution caused many donors in Europe, the U.S., and Canada to suspend official development assistance, but not humanitarian aid.

    However, as Sudan became the worldís largest debtor to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund by 1993, its relationship with the international financial institutions soured in the mid-1990s and has yet to be fully rehabilitated. The government fell out of compliance with an IMF standby program and accumulated substantial arrearages on repurchase obligations. A 4-year economic reform plan was announced in 1988 but was not pursued. An economic reform plan was announced in 1989 and began implementing a 3-year economic restructuring program designed to reduce the public sector deficit, end subsidies, privatize state enterprises, and encourage new foreign and domestic investment. In 1993, the IMF suspended Sudanís voting rights and the World Bank suspended Sudanís right to make withdrawals under effective and fully disbursed loans and credits. Lome Funds and EU agricultural credits, totaling more than one billion Euros, also were suspended.

    As a result of oil export earnings around $500 million in 2000-01, Sudanís current account entered surplus for the first time since independence. In 1993, currency controls were imposed, making it illegal to possess foreign exchange without approval. In 1999, liberalization of foreign exchange markets ameliorated this constraint somewhat. Exports other than oil are largely stagnant. However, the small industrial sector remains in the doldrums, spending for the war continues to preempt other social investments, and Sudanís inadequate and declining infrastructure inhibits economic growth.


  • Sudan Government
  • Sudan People
  • Sudan Geography
  • Sudan History