"We need to further intensify our political, economic, capacity building and cultural ties for a better common future. The Nile and the Ganges are mighty rivers by themselves, but when they join hands, no might in the world will be able to stop their natural flow and progress," Khurshid said after he arrived here on the final leg of his three-nation tour of Morocco, Tunisia and Sudan.

Khurshid thanked his counterpart Ali Ahmed Karti for facilitating "fruitful discussions" to find a way forward in the historical and traditional bilateral relationship.

He pointed out that India and Sudan enjoy an active relationship in both political and economic terms.

"In the last one year, we saw visits of our ministerial colleagues from Sudan. Business visits also continued putting the bilateral trade on a positive trend line," Khurshid said in a statement.

"Our bilateral trade figures are expected to reach a figure of close to USD 1 billion by the time we end the Indian financial year of 2013-14 on March 31, 2014," he said.

Khurshid stressed that there were a number of complementarities in bilateral trade which needed to be utilized for further deepening economic engagement.

On the political front, Khurshid pointed out that the Foreign Office consultation was held in November 2013, which was highly successful.

"Based on the recommendations of our two delegations, it has been decided to hold the meetings of the Joint Ministerial Commission and business-to-business Joint Business Council within this year. Before the end of the year, the next round of Foreign Office Consultations would again review the progress of our engagement," he said.

Khurshid noted that Indian businesses were very active and investing abroad in a significantly large number.

"They are present in Sudan in sectors such as energy, retail marketing, mining, agriculture, pharmaceuticals etc," he said, noting that total investments would be appreciable and close to USD 2.8 to 3 billion.

He identified capacity building in human resources, infrastructure and industrial processes as the top priority initiative of Indian foreign policy towards Sudan.

"Institution building is an important part for capacity enhancement and, in this respect; we are currently engaged in setting up of an English language training center in Khartoum and a Vocational Training Center in Ad-Damar.

"In our efforts concerning infrastructure development in Sudan, one of the larger projects underway is the Kosti-based power plant with an installed capacity of 500 MW. I hope that it will be completed very soon and handed to the people of Sudan," he said.

"We are also engaged in construction and commissioning of a sugar plant at Mashkour," he added.


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