Sudan further opens gold trade to private sector

Suspected smuggled gold bars seized from a plane by Sudanese Rapid Support Forces in Khartoum Airport, Sudan May 9, 2019. (Reuters)
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Updated 17 June 2020

Sudan further opens gold trade to private sector

  • A circular bars government bodies from exporting gold and opens the trade to private firms provided they meet requirements
  • Sudan has been trying to crack down on gold smuggling and generate more foreign currency

CAIRO: Sudan, a gold producer, has taken steps to open up the trade in the precious metal further to private investors, allowing them to handle all exports and taking the business out of state hands, the Sudan News Agency (SUNA) reported on Tuesday.
A circular approved on Tuesday bars government bodies from exporting gold and opens the trade to private firms provided they meet requirements, such as paying taxes and royalties, it said.
Sudan has been trying to crack down on gold smuggling and generate more foreign currency. For years, the central bank had a monopoly on exports, buying gold locally at fixed prices at collection sites nationwide, which led to the illegal trade.
Sudan produced an estimated 93 tons of gold in 2018, Energy and Mining Minister Adil Ibrahim said in November, a level that would make it Africa’s third biggest producer after South Africa and Ghana, according to the US Geological Survey.
Regulations approved in January opened gold exports to private companies but limited private mining firms to exporting 70% of their output with the rest to be sold to the central bank.
The exporters were also required to sell all foreign exchange export proceeds to the central bank at the official exchange rate, which was at that time about 45 Sudanese pounds to the dollar, equivalent to about half the black market rate.
The SUNA report made no mention of that requirement.
The official rate has since weakened to 55 pounds to the dollar, while the black market rate has fallen further to 146 pounds.
The new rules bar the central bank from buying gold entirely except to increase official reserves, in which case it must be bought from the local market, SUNA said.
Traders would now be able to export gold through Khartoum international airport and the government would crack down on other routes used for smuggling, the news agency reported.
The new rules were agreed upon by an economic committee meeting headed by Sudan’s top military commander, Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, also known as “Hemedti,” and including Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok.


Canada’s Trudeau to unveil plan to address coronavirus outbreak, revive economy

Updated 23 September 2020

Canada’s Trudeau to unveil plan to address coronavirus outbreak, revive economy

  • Trudeau will stress the need for environmental policies such as retrofitting buildings, boosting the use of electric vehicles and biofuels
  • Trudeau is paring down talk of a green revolution to slash reliance on export of fossil fuels

OTTAWA: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will unveil on Wednesday what he says is a far-reaching plan to help the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic while ensuring efforts to fight the outbreak do not falter.
Trudeau, who has consistently vowed to do more to combat climate change, is paring down talk of a green revolution to slash reliance on export of fossil fuels as Canada faces a resurgence in coronavirus cases.
“The three prongs of what we are doing are fighting COVID-19, supporting Canadians, and a resilient recovery,” said a government source who requested anonymity given the sensitivity of the situation.
The so-called Speech from the Throne outlining government plans is a confidence measure and given that Trudeau’s Liberals only have a minority in the House of Commons, they will need the support of opposition legislators to avoid being toppled and plunging the country into an election.
The left-leaning New Democrats have made clear they are likely to vote in favor. Trudeau’s popularity initially soared over his handling of the pandemic, but polls suggest he and the Liberals were damaged by a scandal over his close ties to a charity chosen to run a student grant program.
Parliament is usually packed for the occasion but COVID-19 means few legislators will be present when Governor General Julie Payette — the representative of Queen Elizabeth, Canada’s head of state — delivers the speech at around 3 p.m. (1900 GMT).
Later on Wednesday, Trudeau plans to make a national address to address the urgency of fighting COVID-19, a spokesman said.
Officials say the throne speech will contain policy proposals such as childcare and an expanded employment insurance program rather than specific spending commitments, some of which will be disclosed in a fiscal update later in the year.
But Trudeau will stress the need for environmental policies such as retrofitting buildings, boosting the use of electric vehicles and biofuels, aides say.