SPLM Party policy for investors is reflected through GOSS Leadership. The government of Southern Sudan came to power in 2005 where the civil took its toll on the region where there was literally no infrastructure. There were no road to connect one city to the next, there were no academic institution, banking system, insurance companies, government institutions, housing authorities and many other amenities in the region. Besides the lack of infrastructure, the leadership of the SPLM lacks technocrats (manpower) to run the day to day business in the country. Above all the leadership is bogged down by tribal conflicts, corruption and other destructions coming from Omer Al Bashiir’s leadership rendering the entire region to depend on aid from donor community.
Southern Sudan is basically a virgin land with so much left unearth to be explored. The Leadership of the SPLM Party is working hard to creating investment opportunities in the region to be a country in July.
“GoSS has put in place necessary procedures and systems to facilitate rapid business setup in the country through the respective ministries and commissions. GoSS also organizes trade fairs in which potential investors are able to meet government officers as well as their potential Sudanese counterparts in Juba and other places. These have been a great success.
The GoSS has also taken specific steps to promote investment in the country. Some of these include:
Establishment of Southern Sudan Investment Authority (SSIA);
1. Development of investments laws which spell out the investment guidelines in the country;
2. Equal treatment and opportunity for local and international investors; and
3. 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 – GoSS 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 – GoSS 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”.
Southern Sudan is agriculturally rich. There is plenty of rain and vast land for agricultural produce for commercial and consumption. Vast majority of the terrain is a virgin land.
To encourage Agriculture is one of SPLM Party policies for Economic development in Southern Sudan as it was echoed by Dr. Anna Itto, the minister of Agriculture at SPLM Economic Reform Workshop, held in Mar. 16 2011. Dr. Itto said, “Agriculture could contribute to economic growth and become the engine that would propel the new republic of the Sudan into prosperity”.
Farming has been a way of life for many Southern Sudanese particularly before the war. The land is so blessed with plenty of rain-falls throughout the year. During the war most people within Sudan lived in displacement. Those who made out of the country were confined to refugee camps where they relied totally on relief foods and material assistance, although some people had the opportunity to farm little crops here and there mainly for consumption.
The civil war had created the spirit of dependency on the young generation that grew during 22 years of unrest. Not only that, the insecurity in the region has contributed to fear of going out to farm. Southern Sudan has the potential for produce other goods for commercial purpose such as cotton and wool, crops such as bananas, yams, rare animals and birds. Regardless of the conditions that limit people from pursuing agriculture, it remains as its main source of food. Before the war people of Southern Sudan reared cattle, sheep, goats, chicken and many other types of birds. They produced plenty of corn, millet, sorghum and planted fruit trees and vegetables.
Dr. Anna Itto said that she is exploring the agricultural sector and has already made some headway on investments in that field. It was generally agreed that with the right policies in South Sudan, and the potentials that are currently present, the government should also create a favorable environment for the private sector and foreign investors… Dr. Ann said the new plans and policies will have to look into ‘production systems’ with special attention to the whole production process starting from cultivating, weeding, managing soil, fertilization, harvesting, storage, transportation etc.
With proper agricultural systems and techniques South Sudan can become world exporter of agricultural goods.