President Kiir woos UAE investors

President Kiir woos UAE investors
President Salva Kiir Mayardit arrives in the United Arab Emirates. [Photo: Courtesy]

President Salva Kiir has invited the giant United Arab Emirates (UAE) companies to take up investment opportunities in South Sudan.

Kiir made the call at the official opening of the South Sudan Pavilion in Expo 2020 on Saturday.

He urged the UAE companies to cash in on the agricultural sector, tourism, and the country’s diverse minerals such as gold, oil, and iron, among others.

“Our game reserves are home to some of the greatest mammals in Africa when this is added to the vast agricultural land along with our abundant minerals. It is clear that we are a country of diverse potential, “President Kiir said.

“All we need now in South Sudan are investors in agriculture and tourism fields,” he added.

He added, “The message I brought to the United Arab Emirates is that South Sudan is ready for investment.”

President Kiir led a delegation to Dubai on Friday on an official visit, where he was expected to meet and hold talks with Shiekh Nahayan Mubarak to strengthen bilateral ties between South Sudan and the UAE.

Sheikh Mubarak assured his counterpart of his support and bilateral cooperation between the two countries, as well as trade cooperation.

“We are determined to strengthen cooperation and exchange expertise with South Sudan across various areas of shared interest, such as education, bilateral trade, and government modernization,” Sheikh Mubarak said.

According to the 2021 investment climate statement, trade and investment conditions in South Sudan have slightly improved in the past years, but many challenges remain.

Some of the challenges include corruption, violence, insecurity, and limited infrastructure that have continued to impede potential investors from risking their capital in the country.

Others, such as a lack of both skilled and unskilled labour, further hinder the country’s to exploit its vast minerals.

According to the World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business report ranked South Sudan 185 out of 190 economies on the overall ease of doing business and the legal framework governing investment and private enterprises remained underdeveloped as of April 2020.

However, with South Sudan enjoying relative peace as a result of the 2018 peace deal, many investors have already expressed their willingness to come to invest in the country.

South Sudan Ministry of Investment and Trade has signed several memoranda of understanding with foreign countries to invest in Gum Arabic, Honey, and other minerals in the country.