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South Sudan open for business

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ZIMTRADE has urged businesspeople in Bulawayo to leverage on Zimbabwe’s human resources, skills, expertise and political goodwill to enter the South Sudan market, which it said was fairly “virgin”.

Report by Khanyile Mlotshwa Staff Reporter

Addressing businesspeople on opportunities in Africa’s newest country at a breakfast meeting last Thursday, Zimtrade Consultant Malvin Rusike said there were numerous opportunities in tourism, infrastructure development and fishing.

“The united Sudanese government developed the North at the expense of the South,” Rusike said.

“If you want to see what discrimination is, you should go to South Sudan. The North was well developed. In the South, nothing was developed as people were just left to herd their cattle. Even abattoirs are not there.

“If you want to go and sell your products in South Sudan, you should know that there is business.”

Rusike encouraged businesspeople to work as a united force if they were to break into the South Sudanese market.

“The economic landscape of South Sudan is very dynamic,” he said.

“It is a new market and things are changing all the time. It would be important for you (businesspeople) to focus on what is likely to be the future direction of the market,” he said.

“It would also be important that you understand the South Sudanese business practices and norms for mutual benefit and success. I am sure that Zimtrade will continue to guide and advise you.”

Zimtrade Chief Executive Officer Sithembile Pilime said businesspeople in Bulawayo should avoid procrastinating entering the South Sudanese market as there were a lot of countries interested in it.

“We are waiting and by the time we decide to go in, the market would be taken,” she said.

“This (South Sudan) is an unsophisticated market, which is not well-developed. Let us try and see the opportunities there. Let us not see hurdles. Bulawayo needs to develop as Harare is already moving. We are trying to get Bulawayo to also benefit out of this.”

Zimtrade board member, Themba Ndlela, described South Sudan as a “virgin market”.

“Each and everyone of us should seriously consider doing business in South Sudan,” he said.

“What we have heard today is a recreation of what happened to Zimbabwe before. We had Cecil John Rhodes come here and he saw an opportunity. Let’s go and see what’s there in South Sudan and I am sure we will not regret what we will find there.”

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