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South Sudan open for Kenyan investors, central bank says

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Bank of South Sudan expects the ongoing restructuring of the country’s economy from oil dependence to open up the country to Kenyan and other regional investors targeting various sectors.

Speaking as the bank plays host to EAC Monetary Affairs Committee (MAC) to draw the future of the regions single monetary union, BSS Governor Dr Alic Garang said the country has embarked on structural reforms amid shocks that have impacted the sector forcing the government to expand revenue base from various sources.

“And now the matter has been made worse because of the oil shutdown or the oil shutdown because of the complications that happened around the oil flow. So because of that, it has implications on the economy. So the government has woken up and decided to broaden the tax base in order to look at other alternative sources of revenue,” said Garang.

Dr Garang says with reforms in tax administration and simplified business processes, the country expects rapid growth from sectors among others, real estate, agriculture, energy, health, finance, mining and services.

“Investing in South Sudan is very easy. All you have to do is just bring your resources, look for a few local partners, register a company, and boom, you are an incorporated institution. And then you invest in real estate,” he stated.

“Now, if you are to look for a property in Juba, it is very expensive. That means also if you are to invest today, tomorrow, the investor could reap huge dividends. So investing in real estate is one of those,” he added.

South Sudan is currently East African Community’s (EAC) sixth largest economy with a gross domestic product of $12 billion according to the World Bank.

According to Dr Garang, plans by EAC to adopt a single currency union will accelerate integration and promote trade.

“So if we have a, maybe it could be a single shilling, single pound, whatever name we will give it, it will be something that can be easily acceptable as a means of payment in the region. Maybe in terms of inflation, it may help because when you are using a single currency, the preference for that currency may be high and therefore prices may equalize within the region. Of course, the single currency does not eliminate the competing needs of a country,” said Dr Garang.

Democratic Republic of Congo leads EAC economies with a GDP of $113.54 billion, Kenya $113.42 billion, Tanzania $75.73 billion, Uganda $45.57 billion, Rwanda $13.31 billion, Somalia $10.42 billion and Burundi with $3.34 billion.

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