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OPIC, South Sudan Sign Investment Agreement

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

(OPIC)  Signing Kicks Off the U.S. Government-Sponsored South Sudan Investment Forum

Washington, D.C. Ė The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Governmentís development finance institution, today signed an Investment Incentive Agreement with the Government of South Sudan supporting U.S. private sector investment in Africaís newest nation. The agreement was signed by OPIC Executive Vice President Mimi Alemayehou and South Sudanís Minister of Commerce, Industry & Investment Garang Diing Akuong at the U.S. Government-sponsored South Sudan Investment Forum, organized by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

The agreement affirms the two countriesí commitment to encourage U.S. private sector investment in South Sudan. It also streamlines OPICís ability to support U.S. companiesí investments that contribute to the economic development of the country. This agreement is the culmination of discussions that started last fall, when OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth L. Littlefield travelled to Juba to commit to negotiating the agreement and began exploring U.S. investment. OPIC has been actively seeking private sector investors to identify projects important to South Sudanís economic development.

The first investment OPIC will support in South Sudan is the construction and operation of a 150-room hotel in Juba by Aquila Investments LLC, a Delaware-based company Taher Investments, a Jordan-based company. The hotel will provide business-friendly accommodations for foreign investors and people in the development community. The project will also support local job creation in a country dealing with high levels of unemployment.

The South Sudan Investment Forum is taking place on April 17, when government officials of the United States and Republic of South Sudan will discuss investment opportunities with representatives of private sector companies in sectors including petroleum, energy, infrastructure, and agriculture.

This investment forum follows the South Sudan Economic Partners Forum on April 16 hosted by the U.S. government in coordination with the governments of the United Kingdom, Norway and the European Union, to discuss the economic and fiscal challenges facing South Sudan and plans to diversify South Sudanís economy to allow for sustainable long-term growth.

The U.S. government convened the South Sudan Economic Partners Forum as an opportunity for representatives of governments and international financial institutions including the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and African Development Bank to discuss strategies to address South Sudanís economic challenges with South Sudanese government officials and offer support for sound government policy decisions.