South Sudan to sign the first-ever cooperation agreement between Saudi Arabia and South Sudan.
Mayiik Ayii Deng, South Sudan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has flown to Saudi Arabia to sign the first-ever Cooperation Agreement between the Western Asian Kingdom and South Sudan to “progress in commerce and investment.”
The Minister traveled to Riyadh with a group of top officials, including the Director-General of Multilateral Affairs and the Director of Middle East Affairs.
According to the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s Official Facebook Page, the deal will strengthen bilateral collaboration and expand trade in crucial sectors of investment.
“The minister and his counterpart are set to sign a general cooperation agreement between the Republic of South Sudan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the agreement is expected to bring the two countries closer cooperation and advance in trade, particularly in key critical areas of investment,” according to a section of the document.
The team is slated to travel Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and meet with several Saudi business companies in order to examine investment potential in South Sudan.
“The minister is anticipated to begin his three-day working tour today, January 24th, 2022, with bilateral talks with Saudi Arabia as well as other senior officials to address subjects of mutual interest between the two nations,” the paper said.
President Salva Kiir Mayardit sent a greeting to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz on December 14, 2020. According to Asharq Al-awsat news, the message was on the necessity for cooperation between the two countries in areas of investment and other relevant areas of growth.
Tut Gatlauk Manime, President Kiir’s security affairs adviser, presented the message to Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah.
Saudi State Minister for African Affairs Ahmad Kattan was present during the meeting between Prince Faisal and the presidential adviser.
The discussions centered on bilateral ties and collaboration, as well as regional and international issues.
In response to South Sudan’s 2020 message of collaboration, King Salman bin Abdulaziz addressed a message directly to President Salva Kiir Mayardit in 2021 about strengthening relations.
During a meeting with Kiir in Juba, Saudi Arabia’s non-resident ambassador to South Sudan, Ali bin Hassan Jaafar, presented King Salman’s message.
Kiir had received a written letter from King Salman bin Abdulaziz, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, addressing bilateral relations between the Kingdom and South Sudan and methods to strengthen them in several domains.
Kiir emphasized Saudi Arabia’s prominent position in the region and on the world stage, as well as its efforts for the region’s people.
President Salva Kiir emphasized his interest in Saudi Arabia and the building connections that would lead to a better future for the nation.
During a one-day visit in June 2021, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for African Affairs, Ahmed Bin Abdul Aziz Qattan, gives off a present to President Salva Kiir. According to a local news station, during the same visit, Saudi Arabia requested that South Sudan supply them with a list of projects that need funding.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has requested that South Sudan propose investment ideas that the Kingdom would examine,” stated Beatrice Khamisa, South Sudan’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs.
South Sudan’s long-running economic crisis was anticipated to be alleviated as a result of the development.
The two nations decided to sign a cooperation pact to strengthen economic and bilateral ties.
Still in 2021, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for African Affairs, Ahmed Bin Abdul Aziz Qattan, met with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir to explore his nation’s interest in the country.
The Arab world’s biggest country exhibited a special interest in the development of schools and health facilities, roads, and agriculture, among other things.
“I spoke to the president about the Crown Prince’s proposal, in which he announced allocations of $1 billion in investment for Africa at the recent Paris conference,” Ahmed Bin Abdul Aziz Qattan told reporters following the meeting in Juba.
“We will soon get a [list] of investment projects that the two nations may pursue, and we will draft legislation to safeguard investors in both the private and governmental sectors.” He continued.
Saudi Arabia has contributed $3 billion to a joint fund for development in neighboring Sudan.
Following South Sudan’s independence in 2011, investors from across the world came to the nation in search of new economic possibilities.
However, owing to insecurity and the country’s economic collapse, disagreements among the country’s political leaders in 2013 and again in 2016 drove many prospective investors out.
The government claims that the climate is now ready for investment with the signing of the 2018 renewed peace accord and the subsequent creation of a unity government in 2020.
The nation was also given a favorable rating in the US Department of State’s 2020 Investment Environment assessment.
According to the research, trade and investment conditions in South Sudan have improved marginally in the last year, but significant problems remain.
It mentioned documented unfair tactics such as effective asset expropriation, contradictory taxation policies, harassment by security services, extortion attempts, and a widespread feeling that foreigners are not treated fairly in judicial processes or labor conflicts.
According to the research, the legislative framework controlling investment and private firms was still immature as of April 2020.