National, News

Gov’t to earn about $1bn in cross-border trade

By Mamer Abraham


Government of South Sudan has disclosed its plan to boost cross-border trade income from $600 million to $1 billion.

In an interview with NTV Uganda, the South Sudan Ambassador to Uganda, Simon Juach Deng Juach, said the trade between the two countries was booming.

“And that had been the agreement. And since then, nothing has been happening; the trade is moving well, and really, we want to move it from its current $600 million to a billion US dollars. That is possible,” he stated.

The Ambassador said the issue of expired goods was already resolved and that the business was moving on as usual, stressing that the Ugandan Bureau of Standards has to certify the goods before they are imported to South Sudan.

“The situation that developed in May regarding the test that was carried out by the South Sudan Bureau of Standards, where some of the consignments had high levels of aflatoxins, was finally resolved after the two bureaus of standards sat down and said, Look, it was also found out some of these people were really not buying from registered grain producers,” he explained.

“They were just picking from the markets, so it was resolved that before these grains cross into South Sudan, the Uganda Bureau of Standards will have to certify them that they pass the quality test, and therefore we will have no problem,” he added.

He noted that the economies of the two countries had improved due to the start of trade that began immediately after the restoration of peace and stability in Northern Uganda 17 years ago.

Amb. Juach called upon the business communities in the two countries to carry out decent business that upholds ethics and the utmost security between the two countries.

“So, we are urging the business community to do ethical business; you sell the right goods of good quality, and both governments in South Sudan and Uganda will ensure security because security is a very important element of doing business because nobody would go to a war-affected place to run businesses,” he concluded.

There had been complaints from the South Sudanese government over expired goods that were imported into South Sudan from Uganda.

Expired goods burnt

In July, the South Sudan National Bureau of Standards burned over 10,000 metric tons of expired commodities, including food and non-food items, imported through Uganda after they were found to be substandard at the border.

Mary Gordon Muortat, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the South Sudan National Bureau of Standards said the items were not fit for human consumption.

“The reason why we do a lot of dumping of goods inside South Sudan is because a lot of shops and markets have been surrounded by substandard goods, and we have only ourselves to blame,” she stated.

“A lot of our traders actually go out to buy goods that are about to expire—6 months or 3 months’ supply—which is totally not good enough,” she discouraged.

She confided that the Bureau of Standards was bound to test the suitability of commodities that entered the country, urging the traders to first check the expiration dates before buying goods to import into the country.

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