Berlin, 26 January 2017
The African-German Business Association (Afrika-Verein) and the Embassy of Sudan in Berlin arranged on Wednesday 25 Jan 2017 a roundtable discussion on the outgoing American Administration's decision to lift economic embargo imposed on Sudan since 1997. The Sudanese Ambassador to Germany, H.E Badreldin Abdalla was hosted as the key speaker. The event was hosted in the Association's premises in Berlin and attended by a number of German businessmen and some representatives of the German banking sector in addition to an effective participation from one of the most prestigious legal firms in Germany which have multiple business links with Sudan.
Ambassador Abdalla presented a detailed explanation of all aspects related to the lifting of US sanctions on Sudan, particularly with regard to the six-month period stated in the decision. He clarified that, while the Obama decision referred to the final endorsement of the decision by the Trump's Administration by 12 July 2017, the lifting of sanctions had in fact entered into immediate effect on 17th January 2017 via the General License issued by the Department of Treasury's OFAC on the same date of the decision. In this regard, he referred to the consultations held between Obama and Trump Administrations where Trump Administration's consent has been gained. He further explained that this decision allows not only the immediate commencement of the economic relations and cooperation between Sudanese and the U.S companies, but also all third parties like German companies and banks.
Refering to an article appeared in The Hill Newspaper on 23 Jan 2017, the Sudanese Ambassador pointed out that two leading US. Congressmen have recently written expressing their views supporting the decision of lifting of sanctions on Sudan which indicates the existence of a consensus on lifting sanctions on Sudan. He further explained that the decision was welcomed regionally and internationally by the UN Human Rights Council, African Union, China, UK and others.
In their interventions, the representatives of the legal firm echoed the ambassador's remarks on the legal aspects in light of the American decision, confirming that doing business with Sudan doesn't bear any legal risks following this decision.
Afrika-Verein revealed during the session that a delegation of the association accompanied by a number of German businessmen will pay a working visit to Sudan in late March 2017.
In his intervention replying to a question raised about what likely will be their decision to resume business with Sudanese Banks, the delegate of the German Commerzbank expressed his optimism about the Sudanese banking market. He cited Sudanese knowledge of dealing in Euro and smooth transactions compared to their counterparts in the region. He noted that Commerzbank is now seriously studying and monitoring developments in this matter, adding that he expects a decision to resume banking relations with Sudan. It is noteworthy that Commerzbank was a leading partner with many Sudanese banks, including the Central Bank of Sudan.