South Sudan’s Ministry of Trade and Industry in conjunction with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and private sector players launched an exhibition in Juba on Tuesday, to promote locally manufactured products.
The trade fair dubbed “Made in South Exhibition” is the first ever since independence in 2011 and it is aimed at promoting opportunities available in the country for both domestic and foreign investors.
“Step by step we will revitalize our economy and step by step we will build this country. All we need to do is to remain committed to moving forward, be innovative and learn to work hard,” said Dr. Anne Itto, South Sudan’s presidential advisor for agriculture and food security.
The world’s youngest nation is currently ravaged by war and famine while its oil dependent economy is in tatters. But officials encouraged the attendees to grow the manufacturing sector as Kamil Kayode, UNDP representative to the country reiterated.
“The future of the country and the sustainability of the economy and the kind of the country we want to bequeath to our children is one that is very enterprising, productive, that is proud to showcase what Sudanese have produced in South Sudan.”
The country’s trade minister Dr. Moses Hassan, sounded an alarm over the smuggling of South Sudanese products to other countries.
“Most of our resources such as gold, timbre, skin hides, gum arabic, coffee and fish are being illegally smuggled out of this country and sent to the region and international markets and sold there as if they were coming from different countries, while we know very well these products are coming from South Sudan.”
About 65 businesses are participating in the four-day fair being held under the theme; “Together promoting South Sudan business and industrial development.”