A group of South Sudanese businesspeople who are in South Africa on a mission to woo investors to the world’s youngest country are optimistic that their message will touch the right cord amongst the local business community.
The visit of the six-member group is funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti). It is part of the department’s efforts to increase trade and investments between South Africa and South Sudan.
The group also got an opportunity to market their country’s investment opportunities at the two-day Infrastructure Africa Business Forum which was held in Sandton.
The leader of the mission and the General Secretary of the South Sudan Chamber of Commerce, Mr Simon Akuei Deng is optimistic that the mission will bear good results that will see more South African companies investing in his country.
“There is already a presence of South African companies in South Sudan and we are on a mission to woo more companies to follow the example of SAB Miller, MTN and Standard Bank to come to our country and invest,” said Deng.
He added that another objective of the mission was to identify investment and trade opportunities in South Africa that companies in South Sudan can take advantage of.
“South Sudan is open for business with unlimited investment opportunities in the mining, agricultural and road infrastructure sectors. The SA companies already doing business there can testify to this,” said Deng.
He expressed confidence that businesspeople who are willing to venture into South Sudan will not be discouraged by the country’s political situation.
“Businesspeople are risk takers by nature and are willing to take calculated risks everywhere they invest their money. All countries have their own risks and daring businesspeople turn risks into opportunities. For instance, investors take calculated risks when they invest their money in South Africa, as they do anywhere else in the world. Risks have not stopped companies investing in South Sudan and doing good business there,” stressed Deng.
Speaking during a panel discussion on potential investments in South Sudan at the Infrastructure Africa Business Forum, the dti’s Foreign Economic Representative in South Sudan, Dr Julius Nyalunga said the country has a huge economic potential despite the socio-political challenges that it experiences.