June 6, 2011 (JUBA) - A high level delegation of the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) headed by the Vice President, Riek Machar, discussed with potential investors from Middle East in Dubai, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, investment opportunities in the soon-to-be Republic of South Sudan on 3 June.
- South Sudan’s vice-president, Riek Machar (AFP)
The region will formally become independent on 9 July following the overwhelming vote for secession from the rest of Sudan during the self-determination referendum, conducted in January 2011. The plebiscite came as a result of the 2005 peace deal between North and South Sudan that ended 21 years of civil war.
South Sudan is among the poorest countries in the world in terms of infrastructural development and services delivery to its people, though it has economic potentials in agriculture and oil, among others. GoSS has stepped up efforts to attract foreign direct investment in order to address the challenges and meet expectations of the people.
Machar and his delegation met with senior officials of the host government as well as with a group of leading investors from the Middle East.
The delegation listened to presentations by the investors who expressed interest to invest in South Sudan in various sectors after 9 July, when the region formally becomes independent.
Also among the potential investors that met with Machar in Dubai included representatives of one of the leading American companies in construction equipment, Caterpillar. The company which was represented by its partner, Traficgura Company, also discussed the possibility of investing in crude oil in South Sudan while financing major government projects on a loan basis.
Among the delegation that accompanied Machar to Dubai were the minister of finance and economic planning, David Deng Athorbei; minister of legal affairs and constitutional development, John Luk Jok; minister of investment, Oyai Deng Ajak; minister of energy and mining, Garang Diing; and former state minister of energy and mining and member of South Sudan petroleum corporation, Angelina Teny.
Machar is also expected to proceed to Washington DC in the US on 6 July for bilateral talks with the US administration.