Information for Investors

Given the many years of civil war, South Sudan is literally being built from scratch. The road network, housing, banking sector, insurance, schools and other amenities in the huge country all need urgent attention and the focus is on the donor community, the government, and above all, commercial investors.

 

South Sudan is an emerging market. A lot has been done since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005. Juba, for instance, has been transformed from the virtual ghost town it used to be into a remarkable commercial hub that was unimaginable just a couple of years ago. But the investors still need to be patient as the government and other stakeholders put the necessary infrastructure and systems in place. The stark reality is that Juba cannot become "a Nairobi", for instance, in just a few years. Nonetheless, South Sudan is a virgin country and a lot of businesses are currently setting shop in Juba city as well as other towns in the ten states such as Wau and Malakal.

 

The Government of the Republic of South Sudan (GoSS) is keen to cultivate and nurture a conducive investment environment in the country. Consequently, it has put in place necessary procedures and systems to facilitate rapid business setup in the country through the respective ministries and commissions. It also organizes trade fairs in which potential investors are able to meet government officers as well as their potential South Sudanese counterparts in Juba and other places. These have been a great success.

 

The government has also taken specific steps to promote investment in the country. Some of these include:

 

  1. Establishment of Southern Sudan Investment Authority (SSIA);
  2. Development of investments laws which spell out the investment guidelines in the country;
  3. Equal treatment and opportunity for local and international investors; and
  4. Enactment of specific laws that support investment by making provisions for attractive fiscal regimes, protection of industrial and intellectual property rights, credible guarantee of legal security and investment stability, repatriation of profits and dividends, custom duties exemptions, as well as reduced red tape and bureaucracy.

 

The specific investment policies include:

  1. Policy of non-discrimination - foreign investors are allowed to invest in and run businesses in any sector in Southern Sudan;
  2. Guarantees against expropriation - The government shall not nationalize any enterprise. Further, no investor will be compelled (by law or otherwise) to cede any part of investment capital;
  3. Protection of Intellectual Property laws - The government shall protect all intellectual property and rights of all persons and investors. All trademarks, copyrights, patents, etc will be enforced;
  4. Access to Public Information - Investors have open and direct access to all laws and decisions of courts, other adjudicative bodies and to any public information;
  5. Repatriation of capital, profits and dividends - investors have the right to freely repatriate their money in freely convertible currency or dispose of it in any manner they deem fit, subject to tax and other lawful obligations; and
  6. Dispute Resolution - Any aggrieved investor has recourse to the courts of Southern Sudan which has jurisdiction over business disputes. Parties to a dispute are also free to specify alternative dispute resolution mechanisms they may agree upon. Any investor in dispute with the GoSS has recourse to internationally accepted dispute resolutions mechanisms.

 

This article was updated on Nov 29, 2011