The Sudanese Cabinet recently approved the national budget for 2002 targeting a seven percent average growth rate for the local Gross Domestic Product (GDP), among the highest in the region. The new budget allows for 599 billion Sudanese Dinars ($2.3 billion) in expenditures, SD 486 billion ($1.8 billion) in revenues and a SD 113 billion ($500 million) deficit, reported Al-Hayat.
The new budget aims to maintain the local rate of inflation at seven percent and to assure a stable national currency exchange rate against foreign currencies. “Our major aim is to stimulate the economy, now that we have stabilized the exchange rate and brought down inflation in the past three or four years,” Sudan's Minister of Finance Abdel Rahim Hamdi told Arab Communication Consult.
Sudan’s oil sector contributes 40 percent of the national budget, with production presently standing at more than 81.9 million barrels per year. The government is seeking to double its oil production by negotiating with international oil excavation companies.
According to official figures the annual GDP growth averaged 5.5 percent in the last five years, while inflation was brought down from 160 percent several years ago to 10 percent in 2000. Sudan's real GDP growth rate came in at around seven percent for 2000. Sudan's external debt, however, at over 200 percent of GDP, is too large for it to ever realistically hope to repay fully without relief or cancellation. — (menareport.com)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )