South Sudan’s Calm A Boon For Egyptian Investors




Mostafa Hammad, General Export Manager for Medical Union Pharmaceuticals an Egyptian owned company standing in his stall on Wednesday during the South Sudan-Egypt trade exhibition in Juba

By Simon Deng

South Sudan’s recent calm after years of conflict is luring investors from Egypt to rush in and invest as the youngest nation recovers from years of conflict that devastated it’s once thriving economy.

Several Egyptian companies are taking part in the ongoing week-long trade exhibition involving the two countries in Juba that aims to boost private sector growth in South Sudan.

Mostafa Hammad, General Export Manager for Medical Union Pharmaceuticals is among the 40 Egyptian companies exhibiting products at the trade exhibition.

He told The Juba Echo on Wednesday that his company is attracted to expand it’s footprint in emerging markets in Africa like South Sudan, which he said offers vast market opportunities for their pharmaceutical products.

“South Sudan for us is not only a commercial market it is one of the strategic market for Egyptian pharmaceutical industry and as you know the relation between the president of Egypt and the president of South Sudan is very good,” said Hammad in Juba.

Hammad who first visited Juba in 2018, said that his company looking to maximize and expand it’s presence here.

“I first came here in 2018 but now I see the conditions are different even the security level, infrastructure and also the opening up policy taken by the South Sudan government is encouraging us to come and invest,” he said.

Hammad disclosed that prior to the signing of the 2018 revitalized peace deal, it was very risky tocome to and invest in South Sudan but now this has changed with the relative calm due to the cessation of hostilities holding.

“Everything has settled down you can move freely from your hotel room and come back late and no one can harm you,” he said.

Mahmoud Hifny Elbahtity, Development Manager Commodity Inspection Services (CIS) disclosed that his company has already been registered in South Sudan. CIS branch in Egypt has since 2006 been inspecting and auditing imported goods enroute to juba.

Elbahtity revealed that South Sudan is a young country with a lot of investment potential, addingthat the current relative peace is good for business.

He disclosed that CIS has for long been inspecting on behalf of Egypt imported products like Wheat coming from Russia, Romania, Ukraine and France including other assortments.

“We will bring some experts from Egypt to train South Sudanese officials on inspection and verification of goods imported into their country,” he said.

Mohamed El-Agawany, General Manager DeltaImport and Export Company that deals in electrical appliances made in Egypt said they plan first to establish a ware house business and then later on a factory to assemble finished products in South Sudan.

He added that this is because of the high costs incurred in shipping goods from Egypt to landlocked South Sudan.

South Sudan relies on Kenya’s Mombasa port to import most of it’s goods.

Mary Lino Wani, Deputy Chairperson for South Sudan Business Women Union said the trade exhibition has offered South Sudanese to showcase their locally made products like honey, perfumes, clothing and beads.





Mary Lino Wani, (M) a South Sudanese entrepreneur and Florence Gordon Soro (R) Manager for Handcrafts at South Sudan Women Entrepreneur Association standing in their stall during the South Sudan-Egypt trade exhibition in Juba

“We are all happy we want our government to support us more so that we are able to export and show the world what we have as South Sudanese,” said Wani.

Wani said they are incurring high costs in importing some of their raw materials from neighboring Uganda and Kenya.

“Our problem is lack of hard currency, we bring raw materials from neighboring countries like Uganda,” she said.

Florence Gordon Soro, Manager for Handcrafts at South Sudan Women Entrepreneur Associationsaid that some of these products made in South Sudan are already being exported to China and Egypt.

Soro was among the few South Sudanese that participated in the 2018 China International Import Expo held in Shanghai.

“We exchange ideas and views with Egyptians, we are also training on how to make some of their products some of the raw materials we use are available in Egypt they have clothes and threads and so we can get from them if there is cooperation,” said Soro.

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