South Sudan

Juba, South Sudan

Foreign Investment Overview

  • FDI inflow, 2016: USD -17M
  • Unrest limits business success and stifles investment. For example, SAB Miller was reportedly struggling to stay open in the country after setting up a plant in 2009.
  • Although there was some divestment (reverse FDI) from South Sudan in 2016, there was also investment into coffee farms. Coffee has now been poised as a growing non-oil export in the country.
  • South Sudan has previously had success attracting FDI into the financial sector. South Sudan has 28 commercial banks and 80% of these are foreign owned, many coming from Uganda and Kenya, although doing business remains difficult.

Composition of South Sudan’s total GDP

Investment Attractiveness

  • South Sudan’s government is primarily concerned with supporting peace and promoting nation building in a step towards economic reconstruction.
  • South Sudan’s infrastructure action plan states that transforming agriculture from its current subsistent state to an export contributor will require infrastructure investments amounting to USD 200M a year over the medium term.

Sectoral View

  • South Sudan’s national development strategy has prioritized the agriculture and construction sectors for development.
  • Infrastructure reconstruction is a priority. There is little rationale for investment in higher-value industry, and it would be suitable for those with already extensive experience of the local context.
  • There are opportunities for developing products suitable to the South Sudanese context (e.g. mobile devices with longer battery life). There may be opportunities to manufacture these products within the region should it be possible to establish industrial capabilities.
  • There is potential not only in the oil sector, but in iron, diamond, copper, nickel, marble, and gold. South Sudan can apply lessons from Liberia to help them rebuild as a mineral-rich economy.
  • With peace and stability, there will be opportunities to invest in manufacturing plants and agriculture to provide goods and services for the population.
  • Agriculture and agro-processing sectors may show promise in South Sudan. Prior investments in 2013 included: saw mills, a fruit canning factory, textiles, shea butter and palm oil.
  • Regional projects may support investment into the country, like the proposed highway from the Kenyan border to Juba, started in 2015.

Recent Developments

  • A South Sudanese peace deal was signed between national and regional leaders on 5 August 2018, with the aim of concluding the five-year civil war. This peace accord is now in the implementation phase, and its longevity is yet to be determined. 

South Korean Alignment

  • South Korean industrial conglomerates with expertise in construction may be well positioned to be first movers in South Sudan’s construction sector once stability returns to the country. 

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