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Sunday, 22 October 2017

Issues in Development: Have the Egyptian Companies Any Legal Rights to Represent Foreign Companies in Sudan?!

During the early times after independence there was a practice by some of the Egyptian companies operating in Egypt

to obtain representation from companies originally   located in UK and Europe for both Egypt and Sudan. Representation in the sense of being the official and accredited agents of these British and European companies  not only in Egypt but also in  Sudan. This was understandable when Sudan was under the Condominium Agreement vide  which  both the British and the Egyptians were ruling the Sudan. After  the revolt  of 1924, the Egyptians were evacuated to Egypt and the Sudan came under the full control of the British administration. However, the practice of some Egyptian companies continued some years after independence obtaining representation from foreign companies located in Europe for both Egypt  and Sudan. It was  fought and resisted  by the Sudanese businessmen as well as by those officially in charge  and the problem was rectified . Foreign companies started to give their agencies directly to the Sudanese businessmen.  Such foreign companies  realized that they were mistaken and that Sudan was an independent country and not a part of Egypt since it  was no longer a colonized state and that it has its independent legal status as an independent state and recognized as  a full member of  United Nations. Now that became history.
However, the Egyptians are very good at repeating history trying to indirectly gain new influence in Sudan or even antagonize the Sudanese. They think that the Sudanese forgot about such practices. In the aftermath of the recent visit of the Egyptian president to USA Egypt seemed to have succeeded in establishing good relations with USA and especially the various US multinational companies who were invited to operate and invest in Egypt. It must be admitted that such efforts are sound and are in the right direction of Egyptian economic interests. As a result of that it seemed that a number of Egyptian companies were quick to grab the situation and establish relations with some American companies. This according to our information was done through signing agency agreement between Egyptian and US companies. This is the normal practice all around because local companies are in a better position to know the local environment and can provide a valuable service to the foreign companies. Therefore, it is understandable that Egyptian companies obtain such representation for their operations in Egypt. But what is not logical even preposterous and unethical for some Egyptian businessmen to obtain representation from the US companies for both Egypt and Sudan. The same old practice brought back to life once more. One cannot understand such motives since they know pretty well that the Sudan is an independent country. Or might be jut to antagonize the Sudanese business community in the context of recent war of words between the two countries. Recently there were some workshops held in which the speakers were Egyptian nationals talking on behalf of foreign companies. One is strongly opposed that such practice to appear on the surface. One would like to urgently draw the attention of the Sudanese authorities that such a practice cannot be tolerated and that any foreign company be it American or otherwise that provide Egyptian companies representation on Sudan should not be allowed to operate in Sudan. Moreover, even foreign companies American or otherwise should not send representatives with Egyptian nationality to the Sudan. The reason is obvious since they might be also working for the Egyptian security!! We are familiar with a number of cases. We consider it a grave insult added to the other insults reflected in the Egyptian media against the Sudan. There is more to this kind of representation which might be used against the interest of the Sudanese economy, since it will involve transfer of technology which the Sudan could easily be deprived of by the Egyptian agents. In addition to an in increase in the cost of material or technology imported through the Egyptian agents. The Sudan is not yet a county or a province of Egypt.
These and many other practices have to be looked into seriously and rectified. For example there is need for the Sudan remain reluctant to sign the Entebbe agreement which the Sudan refused to sign in coordination with Egypt. Moreover, the four rights have to be revised and its future implications carefully weighed etc .etc. All these inconveniences by official Egypt and its ignorant media will not only hurt the government as much as it will retard and delay the much hoped for development which is needed for the ordinary Sudanese.
To conclude one would like to quote a final advise I made in an article published in on Saturday 15th. May 2010, under the title, ”The fate of the Nile Basin initiative after May 14th.2010.” Quote,” To conclude, my sincere advise to my Sudanese people and based on my close observations for decades, of the relationship between the Sudan and Egypt in almost all matters of concern and especially so the Nile issue, that we really need to stop and make a stock taking of this relationship in spite of the very difficult times that Sudanese are going through at the moment. What have we gained before and after independence of this so-called eternal relationship!! If we have to closely ponder on so many instances where official Egypt tried to hamper Sudan’s economic and social development one will unfortunately find out so many instances where we have been whether by subtle or by design or overt methods hard hit and harmed as a nation. How can Sudan and its people cooperate with a country that had always thought of our country as its Southern backyard, always weak, submissive and docile? The world its various institutions and media has to understand clearly that Sudan is not in any way part of Egypt nor it had never been a threat to Egypt’s security. It is as simple as that!! One vital thing we ask of those who are responsible for our affairs and destiny is to avoid being cursed by Sudanese future generations!!” unquote.
That was said in 2010 and it is very much valid today!!