Kiir, Ruto make solid pledges to address trade challenges
South Sudan and Kenya will leverage their impressive bilateral ties to tighten up trade policies for the convenience of the two countries.
Kenya’s president, William Ruto, jetted into Juba on Saturday morning to visit President Salva Kiir. The two leaders then holed up in a meeting for the better part of the day, after which they issued an address. It was from this that they pledged commitment to address the policy gaps to ensure that Juba’s economy thrives.
President Kiir lamented how Kenya’s new importation policies had recently caused an increase in the prices of commodities. He called on President Ruto to work with his administration so that the two countries can realise mutually beneficial results.
“Almost all our imports come through the port of Mombasa, any policy change on the Kenyan side with respect to import clearance locations is often felt here in South Sudan on commodity prices.” For example, the Naivasha Dry Port which President Ruto ordered its clearing roles back to Mombasa had additional cost on prices here in South Sudan,” President Kiir said, as noted by the Presidential Press Unit on the Facebook page.
In response, Ruto said they had agreed on the review of policies to help South Sudanese traders to clear goods from multiple ports to ensure that South Sudan-bound goods hit the market on time.
“We have agreed that any policy changes in Kenya would affect trade in South Sudan, and thus the government of Kenya has clarified its position to lift trade restrictions and realigned our position so that traders and business people from South Sudan can clear their goods in any part of Kenya, in Naivasha or Mombasa,” he said.
He added that Kenya was committed to supporting the implementation of the peace agreement to its completion to ensure a full transition into a democratic dispensation.
Kiir also said that Juba and Nairobi had agreed on a joint working formula, especially when it comes to handling regional matters.
Ruto’s visit is the first one to Juba after he was elected as Kenya’s fifth president in August 2022.