South Sudan to diversify exports, seize trade opportunities across Africa
Business leaders and policymakers begin work on the National Export and Investment Strategy in first stakeholders’ consultation
(Juba/Geneva) – The Government of South Sudan is taking major steps to diversify its export base and create investment opportunities, with the development of a National Export and Investment Strategy.
More than 70 public and private sector stakeholders are participating in a two-day consultation in Juba on 14 and 15 July 2021 to discuss the current state of trade in the country and strategize on initiatives that will boost export performance.
The consultation marks the first milestone in a series of strategy consultations, initiated by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, sponsored by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC).
The National Export and Investment Strategy identifies priority sectors based on economic and employment opportunities resulting from regional integration − especially for women and young people. The Strategy – and the more specific sector and functional strategies derived from it – will be implemented by select institutions within five years. The Strategy comes with targets of achievement and a timetable to ensure that progress is on track.
‘This consultation serves as a platform for public and private stakeholders to discuss opportunities for South Sudan to trade with other African countries as part of the new African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),’ said Hon. Kuol Athian Mawien, Minister of Trade and Industry of the Republic of South Sudan. ‘It is also an opportunity to look into current challenges relating to South Sudan’s trade performance, and to develop a strong trade and policy framework to support growth.’
Oluranti Doherty, Director of Export Development at Afreximbank, said: ‘Afreximbank is committed to supporting efforts to increase economic opportunities across South Sudan. This joint initiative with ITC is a hands-on approach to enhancing implementation of the AfCFTA and the country’s integration into the global community through accession to the World Trade Organization.’
Darius Kurek, Senior Trade Strategy Adviser at ITC, said: ‘The Strategy is key to delivering key goals of the South Sudan Development Plan. It focuses on establishing a favourable policy and regulatory framework, as well as reinforcing the institutional support needed for market access and pandemic recovery.’
Results of the first consultation include the identification of key inputs for the initial diagnosis of trade performance, institutional and enterprise-level dynamics, and national bottlenecks for export development. The stakeholders are working to reach consensus on the Strategy vision as well as priority sectors and cross functions.
ITC is also partnering with Afreximbank to train small business owners and young entrepreneurs in Africa on how to trade with other African countries, leveraging trade opportunities presented by the AfCFTA.
Notes to the Editor
About Afreximbank - The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is a Pan-African multilateral financial institution with the mandate of financing and promoting intra-and extra-African trade. Afreximbank was established in October 1993 and owned by African governments, the African Development Bank and other African multilateral financial institutions as well as African and non-African public and private investors. The Bank was established under two constitutive documents, an Agreement signed by member states, which confers on the Bank the status of an international organization, and a Charter signed by all Shareholders, which governs its corporate structure and operations. The Bank is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt. For more information, visit: www.afreximbank.com
About ITC - The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
For more information, visit www.intracen.org.