Ministry of Trade asks Japan to build staff capacity
The National Minister of Trade and Industry, Kuol Athian Dut, has called on the Japanese government to build the capacity of the ministry’s employees to manage the country’s natural resources.
“We asked them to build the capacity of our staff on how they can attract the business communities all over the world. This is what we want from them; to train our people the skills they have in Japan,” said Athian.
He made the remarks after meeting with the Japanese Ambassador Tsutsumi Naohiro to discuss bilateral trade between South Sudan and Japan in the capital, Juba on Thursday.
Mr. Athian said South Sudan has a variety of natural resources, including gold, iron as well as Gum-Arabic and honey but could not exploit them to diversify the country’s economy due to lack of skills.
Early this year, the Minister of Investment, Dr. Dhieu Mathok Dhieu echoed similar challenges in adding values to South Sudan’s goods.
“We are lacking the capacity of transforming these resources into finished goods. We need to work collectively to explore these resources for the benefit of the two countries,” said Mathok at the launch of the Sudanese Expo in Juba in January 2021.
Mr. Athian, however, invited the Japanese companies to invest in the South Sudan mineral sector of their interest.
“We have a lot of natural resources, and we are not benefiting from them. We ask the ambassador to invite the Japanese to come and invest in South Sudan. South Sudan is a free country and can receive any country to come and invest here,” said Athian.
However, Ambassador Naohiro called on the government to ensure stability in the country to attract foreign investors by fully implementing the revitalized peace agreement.
“We agreed that investment might be very, very important for the future takes off of South Sudan’s economy as well as trade… So far the Japanese companies are a little bit hesitant to come to invest in South Sudan because of the overall situation of the peace process,” said Naohiro.
He added “Let us educate and share the real situation of South Sudan. What is going on here in terms of the peace process, economic situation, and social for them to make the better decision themselves whether they can come now or to wait?”
According to the Japanese Ambassador, without total peace foreign investors would not risk their capital in South Sudan.
“In the longer term, the tangible progress of the peace in the Republic of South Sudan is very, very crucial with which the business people can make a wiser decision,” he said.