The suspension of foreign aid and balance-of-payment support by a growing list of countries has all but stopped economic development. In spite of this, Sudan's government retains food self-sufficiency as a priority goal and seeks to reallocate investment toward agriculture and other productive sectors. Private investment is welcome as the parastatal sector is privatized. Oil exploitation may eventually boost economic development (oil began to be exported in October 2000).
In 2000, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lifted its suspension on Sudan's voting rights, after the country made payments to the Fund and improved its economic performance as of 1997. (Sudan's voting and other rights in the IMF had been suspended since 1993.) The country's foreign debt exceeds $13 billion, more than its annual gross domestic product (GDP).