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India, Sudan decide on ministerial, B2B meetings to strengthen ties

India and Sudan have decided to hold bilateral meetings at the level of ministers and business councils to strengthen ties, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said in Khartoum on Tuesday.

"India and Sudan enjoy an active relationship in both political and economic terms. Our bilateral trade figures are expected to reach a figure of close to $1 billion by the time we end the Indian financial year of 2013-14 (on March 31, 2014)," he said in a statement during a visit to the African country.

The minister said: "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 said there exist a number of complementarities in bilateral trade between the two countries and there was a need to utilize them for further deepening of economic engagement.

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

India was currently engaged in setting up of an English language training center in Khartoum and a vocational training center in Ad-Damar, he said.

He said the Indian community in Sudan has proven to be an important bridge between the two countries.

"We need to further intensify our political, economic, capacity building and cultural ties for a better common future," he added.