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Sudan to exempt industrial land from taxes: State news agency

Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir promotes granting of free land to both local and foreign investors in manufacturing enterprises as well as the annulment or reduction of taxes imposed on them

Reuters , Tuesday 16 Aug 2011
Sudan
With the independence of South Sudan, the North has lost 75 per cent of the country's oil production
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Sudan plans to exempt land allotted for industrial use from taxes and duties in a bid to promote investment in an economy reeling from losing two thirds of its total oil production.

Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has called on his government to grant free land to local and foreign investors in manufacturing businesses as well as to exempt or reduce taxes imposed on them, the state news agency SUNA reported on Monday night.

With the independence of South Sudan in July as part of the 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war, the North has lost 75 per cent of the country's oil production of 500,000 barrels a day.

At the same time, foreign investment has been limited due to violence, mismanagement and a U.S. embargo in place since 1997, analysts say.

Bashir also called on ministries of energy and electricity to look into reducing energy prices for industrial use, SUNA said.

Oil is the lifeline of the two Sudans' economies and the main source of foreign currency, so the north will be hit hard as its share of oil revenues dwindles.

Much will depend on whether Khartoum can establish more non-oil industries and increase food production, analysts say.

In order to reduce its dependency on oil, the north wants to develop mining of resources such as gold, which helped drive up non-oil exports in the first quarter.

But the pace of economic diversification has been slow, which the government blames mainly on the U.S. trade embargo.

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