US Seeks Trade, Business Ties With South Sudan – AFP

The United States on Thursday highlighted a series of steps to help develop South Sudan’s economy, at the end of a conference designed to give a boost to the new country’s development.

Washington said the US Treasury Department would issue two licenses that bypass sanctions on Sudan to allow financial transactions by South Sudan’s petroleum and petrochemical industries.

The Department will also permit the transshipment of some goods, technology and services to entice greater investment to South Sudan.

The White House said in a statement that it wanted to expand trade between the United States and South Sudan.

Officials were assessing whether South Sudan is eligible for duty-free treatment on footwear and agricultural products and other goods under the US African Growth and Opportunity Act.

The US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) was also working out how to open in South Sudan, the White House said.

The two-day conference, in the presence of South Sudan President Salva Kiir, was organized in Washington by the United States, the European Union, and the African Union, among others.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday urged South Sudan to manage its oil windfall well, warning that the new country’s wealth could be a curse that holds back development.

“We know that it will either help your country finance its own path out of poverty, or you will fall prey to the natural resource curse,” Clinton told a conference aimed at boosting international support for South Sudan.

That curse “will enrich a small elite, outside interests, corporations and countries, and leave your people hardly better off than when you started,” the chief US diplomat said.

She held up oil-rich Norway, a key supporter of South Sudan, and diamond-rich Botswana as positive examples of nations that have successfully managed their natural resource wealth.

South Sudan — which emerged in July as an independent state from a referendum outlined in a 2005 agreement that ended two decades of civil war — possesses most of the oil fields from the former united Sudan.

The United States fears fighting along the border between Sudan and South Sudan could undermine implementation of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which ended a two-decade civil war and led to the south’s independence.

Leave a Reply