Publication Date: 10/12/2007
Sudan’s Salva Kiir visits Rumbek, tells army no more war
Story by KABURU MUGAMBI
The Government of Southern Sudan will hold an international trade and investment
exhibition next month in a fresh bid to attract potential investors and traders.
Juba International Trade Fair and Investment Exhibition aims at promoting partnership
in trade and investment to create a thriving economy for the benefit of the
people of Southern Sudan, says the Government. The fair runs from November 27
to December 3.
Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Supply director in charge of trade fair, Christine
Ijino, said her Government hopes to attract as many potential investors and
traders as possible to Southern Sudan.
“The leading product Southern Sudan can offer the rest of the world is
investment opportunities in various sectors,” Ms Ijino told reporters
in Nairobi, during a media briefing.
She said that before the comprehensive peace agreement which ended decades
of civil war between North and Southern Sudan was marginalised denying it the
opportunity to promote its products and services.
“As a result, we are using this opportunity to attract investors to come
and invest in southern Sudan after signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement
on January 9, 2005,” Ms Ijino added.
“Therefore, there is justification in organising Juba International Trade
Fair and Investment Exhibition.”
The Southern Sudan Government has appointed Charleston Travel, a local travel
agency, to carry out promotion events locally ahead of the exhibition.
Charleston executive director, Mohammed Wanyoike , said the exhibition offers
an opportunity to Kenyans to participate in rebuilding Southern Sudan.
He anticipated fast economic growth due to substantial domestic oil revenues
and increased donor support.
Majority of the exhibitors, Mr Wanyoike said, are expected to come from Kenya.
“Southern Sudan relies heavily on Kenya because they don’t have
any manufacturing there even for products such as bottled drinking water,”
he told reporters.
Kenyan exports to Sudan rose from Sh2.8 billion in 2002 to Sh6.796 billion
in 2005 before leaping 47.1 per cent to Sh10 billion in 2006, according to the
Economic Survey 2007. On the other hand, Sudanese exports to Kenya have declined
from Sh253.9 million in 2002 to Sh86 million last year.
Former Kenyan Ambassador to Sudan, Daniel Mboya, said time was running out
for Kenyan businesses to take advantage of the multi-billion dollar reconstruction
project in the Southern Sudan.