Sudan's Main Business Sectors

Sudan is a country rich in natural resources, such as crude oil, minerals, and agricultural materials. Despite its abundance, growth in Sudan's main business sectors has been slow. The nation is still heavily reliant on the agricultural sector, which comprises the bulk of the country's work force. Growth in industrial production has been slow (2.1%), but still positive. Here are the other sectors making an impact on Sudan's economy.

Next to agriculture, the next largest sector in Sudan's business world is the industrial sector. The country has been a large oil producer for many years, but it only began exports a little over a decade ago. Sudan has proven oil reserves of over 6 billion barrels, which makes up slightly over one-half percent of the world's total reserves. Petroleum accounts for 75% of Sudan's exports, with China, India, Indonesia, Japan, and South Korea being its main customers.

The textile industry is one of Sudan's oldest, and the country's government is taking an active role in encouraging the sector's growth by building mills. The sector encourages the Sudanese people to buy its products, with the motto "Let's wear what we produce ourselves".

Another key sector in Sudanese business is the sugar production industry; the country is the third-largest sugar producer in Africa. To encourage the cultivation of sugar cane and to prop up the industry, Sudan's government has paid to enlarge several sugar cane fields near the Nile. The industry is open for foreign investment; foreigners can enter into a joint venture with the Sudanese government through the Kenana Sugar Company.

The utilities sector is also experiencing rapid growth; the country has a power generation capacity (both thermal and hydroelectric) of over 300mW. The Roseires Dam is responsible for the generation of over seventy percent of Sudan's hydropower. Sudan's government is progressing with several projects to expand its power production, but is having difficulty finding the investors necessary to finance the projects.

Despite the best efforts of the Sudanese government, its business sectors continue to be hampered by issues such as a dearth of raw materials, a small labor force, and a lack of foreign investors. If the government can solve these problems, the nation may be able to reduce its reliance on imports and grow its economy.

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