By Bullen Bala Alexander
In a bid to diversify exports, investment seize trade opportunities in the country and across Africa. Business leaders and policymakers launched the National Export and Investment Strategy and first stakeholders’ consultation meeting in the country.
The launching attracted more than 70 public and private sector stakeholders to participate in a two-day consultation meeting in Jubato discuss the state of the country’s trade performance.
This is one of government’s steps to boost exports of diverse products and to create investment opportunities through the development of a National Export and Investment Strategy.
Speaking during the launching, Agak Achuil Lual, First Undersecretary of theMinistry of Trade and Industry said the consultation marks the first milestone in a series of strategy consultations, initiated by the Ministry of trade and Industry, sponsored by the African Export-Import Bank (AfrExImBank) and implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC).
He said 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.
“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 Mr. Lual.
He added that “It is also an opportunity to look into current challenges relating to South Sudan’s trade performance, to develop a strong trade and policy framework to support growth.”
On the same occasion, Abah Ofon the senior officer, AfrExImBank,reiterated its commitment to support efforts to increase economic opportunities across the country.
The launch was a joint initiative with ITC is a hands-on approach to supporting implementation of the AfCFTA and the country’s integration into the global community through accession to the World Trade Organization.
For his part, Darius Kurek, Senior Trade Strategy Adviser at ITC, said that the Strategy is key to delivering key goals of the South Sudan Development Plan.
He added that it will focus on establishing a favourable policy and regulatory framework as well as reinforcing the institutional support needed for market access and pandemic recovery.
The stakeholders reached 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 to trade with other African countries as part of the AfCFTA.
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.
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.