By Bida Elly David
South Sudan ministry of investment has acknowledged continuous decline in the country’s economy as well as investment due to high rate of dependency on imports and poor infrastructure.
This concern came after the ministry signed a deal with Center for World Investment Summit Organization (CWI) in Juba, yesterday.
Ministry of investment along with three other ministries have been put on notice by the parliament as the country’s position of micro-economy has declined with no signs of transformation.
Parliamentarians pointed out domination of businesses by foreign monopolists, leaving domestic enterprises to suffocate as continuous cash outflow leaves the country’s economy to stagnate.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Dr. Dhieu Mathok Ding, the minister of investment, reiterated the need for the country to stop blame games and allow investors to continue developing the nation.
He said that South Sudan has ample resources that need investors to exploit them to generate revenues for the country, but that requires conducive environment to prevail.
“We have a lot of resources, and they are not new. It is our responsibility to make them known and try to bring investors such that we use them for the benefit of our people,” he said.
Minister Dhieu did not point out the negative impacts that foreign investors impose on the country’s economy.
However, Peter Claudio Musa, the acting undersecretary of the investment ministry, commended investors, both foreign and domestic, for contributing positively to the economy despite the challenges.
“Running business in South Sudan has its challenges. One is limited hard infrastructure. Our network of paving roads is still small and city electricity is confined in Juba with most investors using generators as sources of electricity,” he underlined.
On the aspect of improving domestic production through investment, Peter said most agricultural equipment to boost production to solve food insecurity are imported, which increases expenditure.
“Almost all agricultural machinery and inputs need to be imported. The government is pursuing plans to strengthen the infrastructure and invest in human capital and industrialization,” he said.
Musa further noted that the decline of South Sudan investment and economy has got nothing to do with foreign monopolies.
He added that there is a need for the country to establish an investment and trading block with neighboring countries to get access to the international market.
“Building investment and trade blocks with neighboring countries can help South Sudan to get access to the international market and help the country achieve economies of scale, facilitate investment as well as break into multi-country networks,” he said.
The acting undersecretary added that the ministry of investment is planning to regulate land procedures at the national and state levels to enable investors go through consistent process of acquisition.
“I would like to inform all investors that we are committed to improve donations of government activities and policies to strengthen the business environment.” Musa stated.
He, however, said they will never stop working with foreign investors as long as investment in South Sudan, particularly acquisition of land for income generation is concerned.