By John Agok
Several business companies are scrambling for slice in the nascent and attractive economy of South Sudan just after guns went silent following the signing of the 2018 revitalized peace deal.
The first ever Juba Auto Show Edition involving various motor vehicle dealers and business traders of all walks of lives took place over the weekend in Juba. The event aims at promoting close networking and opportunities for business growth.
Miss Monica Iman lead planner and consultant at her place of exhibition of products (Photo: John Agok).
Mrs. Florence Gordon Soro, one of the exhibitors and also Chairperson of South Sudan Women Entrepreneurs Association (SSWEA), said without relative peace such big business exhibitions cannot take place.
“Peace is paramount in promoting business growth, especially we the local businesses are now able to move freely across the country to collect local materials made of beads and other traditional attires. Peace also allows us to go to neighboring countries and bring similar products to Juba,”. Soro told The Juba Echo in Juba on Saturday.
Monica Iman, a 24 -year-old fashionista and events manager, said with the return of peace business is flourishing after years of rolling back on investment.
“We are now reaping profits when we organize and manage wedding events, meetings and many others,” Iman who studied events management said.
She, however lamented the high taxes and soaring fuel prices which have increased the cost of doing business for Small-Medium Enterprise (SMEs) businesses.
“It is pretty much unfortunate that fuel prices and taxes are high and this affects my business since we import everything from outside the country,” Iman said.
Dr. Daniel Madit Thon, the Managing Director of Harmony Medical Centre, said the country’s weak health sector is slowly recovering after years of war since December 2013.
He urged the transitional unity government to reduce on the high taxes and subsidize fuel to allow businesses to grow.
“The government must reduce on the high taxes on private medical facilities so that we can reduce the cost of health care services.
MrsDaniel Achiek, the Operation Manager of David Machinery Limited, said agriculture business is booming now due to peace.
“We conceived the idea of investing into Agriculture since 2012 and this aimed at securing food security. We received groups of framers from remote areas that need tractors from us, we supplied them with tractors and this helps reduce dependency on imported food because there is now improved harvest due to prevailing peace,” Achiek said.
However, Achiek also decried the heavy taxes levied on the equipment they import from India. “Sometimes, we sell tractors for around 40,000 U.S dollars each and government taxes us on what they call estimation logbook amounting to 65,000 dollars,” he disclosed
David Machinery tractors displayed during Juba Auto Show (Photo: John Agok)
“The government has to reduce taxes on agricultural equipment since agriculture is the backbone of South Sudan. There should be subsidies on fuel to reduce costs on farmers,” Achiek said.
The Auto Exhibition event was sponsored by Trinity Energy limited, Harmony Medical Centre and Expert Technologies.