South Sudan inaugurates committee to oversee trade and Customs development

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The government of South Sudan and Trademark East Africa (TMEA) yesterday inaugurated the first National Oversight Committee (NOC) to oversee trade and Customs development during a meeting held at the ministry of Finance offices.

The government of South Sudan and Trademark East Africa (TMEA) yesterday inaugurated the first National Oversight Committee (NOC) to oversee trade and Customs development during a meeting held at the ministry of Finance offices.

The inauguration was organized by Trademark East Africa in collaboration with the British embassy and the South Sudan national government.

The TMEA South Sudan programme is providing technical assistance and financial support worth US$24 million to the government of South Sudan. The objective of the programme is to support government and international community’s effort in fast tracking movement of humanitarian goods, as well as increasing transparency and accountability in the collection of non-oil revenues and reducing cost of doing trade in the

The programme further envisages supporting the South Sudan government's desire to become a member of regional bodies such as the East African Community (EAC).

Speaking to the press after the inauguration, Salvator Garang Mabiordit, the first undersecretary in the ministry of Finance and Economic Planning said the NOC was formed to facilitate the collection of non-oil revenues, and to elevate the country from dependence on oil.

He thanked the British government and TMEA for their support, saying it was a sign of their commitment to the country’s development.

“It is the indication that they are very serious to do their business with us here and we welcome them,” Garang explained.

The minister said the programme was expected to help improve local institutions like customs, the Bureau of Standards, commerce and other related non-oil generating institutions.

He thanked the British development agency, DFID, which will sponsor some of the training programmes to help South Sudan catch up with the rest of the world. The British government is investing 7 million Sterling Pounds in the programme.

Frank Mastsaert, the Chief Executive Officer for TMEA said they were delighted to partner with South Sudan and lay the foundation for the newly established NOC. He said the partnership was important for the economy and job creation, and that it will reduce the high cost of trade and high consumer prices as well.

He added that the first priority of the partnership would be to upgrade the main border post at Nimule and Olegu. He also revealed that they will support the private sector and civil society by linking them up with the regional market, particularly at this time when the country is facing challenges.

Jon Dean, the deputy ambassador in the British embassy in Juba applauded the move by the government and TMEA to launch the NOC.

“The UK government wants to see a South Sudan that is peaceful, democratic and prosperous, improving government collection of non-oil revenues, and bringing economic diversification and economic stability, which the people of South Sudan want,” he said.

He said the UK government supports the programme with the hope that it will be of benefit to all the people of South Sudan.

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