|Language||English, indigenous languages, Arabic|
|Religion||Christianity, indigenous religions, Islam|
|State system||Federative presidential republic|
|Head of State||Salvo by Kiir Mayardit|
|Head of government||Riek Machar (1st Vice President)|
|Currency name||South Sudanese pound (SSP)|
|Time shift||+1 hour (0 hour in summer)|
|Nominal GDP (billion USD)||ON|
|Economic growth (%)||ON|
The Republic of South Sudan was established in 2011, making it the youngest recognized state in the world. South Sudan has chosen a presidential system as its system of government, where the president holds executive power and is the head of state. The parliament is bicameral, consisting of the National Legislative Assembly (400 seats) and the Council of States (50 members). The long-awaited parliamentary and presidential elections in 2021 did not take place, in 2022 the elections are held in 2023. Visit Allunitconverters for more information about South Sudan culture and traditions.
South Sudan’s economy is limited to oil extraction and subsistence agriculture, which supports the vast majority of the population. The area of South Sudan is one of the most fertile in Africa at all, there is also enough water for irrigation. The priority tasks of the government are the provision of basic social services, the development of agriculture, the mining sector and investment in infrastructure (in South Sudan there are only about 200 km of roads with a solid surface that connect the capital and the border with Uganda; electricity is supplied to only 2% of households). Budget revenues (where almost 2/5 of expenditures are for defense) are derived, and will be derived in the future, from oil exports and received development aid. Currently, however, development aid, as well as potential foreign investments, are limited by an extremely high level of corruption, a poor security situation and political instability. All oil production is transported by pipelines to Sudan, where the relevant refineries are also located. The export of oil and thus the economy of South Sudan is thus dependent on cooperation with Sudan. The government is therefore also trying to get investors for the construction of an oil pipeline on the Kenyan coast and the construction of refineries on its territory. The probability of realization of such investments in the foreseeable future is low in the current situation.
The country’s current, essentially subsistence economy is supplemented by significant humanitarian aid. The non-oil economy de facto does not exist and the government only has income from oil exports and international aid. In the future, South Sudan thus offers opportunities for investment in all sectors from agriculture to petrochemical and processing industries. However, this opportunity can currently only be seized by financially strong companies and states that can afford a high risk.
This Summary Territorial Information is processed for a country that is so-called accredited. The information is provided in an abbreviated form.
Culture of business dealings
- Business Meeting
- Public holidays
South Sudanese civil servants and businessmen are largely return immigrants, mostly from the USA, Great Britain or Australia. Their language skills are therefore usually at a high level, as well as their business skills. However, it is also necessary to keep in mind that this is an economy at a very low level of development, and the results of negotiations may not correspond to reality.
Before approaching business partners, it is necessary to evaluate the pros and cons of operating in South Sudan. Negotiations with partners must be completed in person and at the same time it is necessary to thoroughly check the credibility of the given request and counterpart. It may be necessary to travel to the territory several times to close the deal. We also recommend taking into account the economic reality of the country, the pervasive corruption, the security situation, the possible lack of hard currency and the unstable investment and legal environment.
In the case of a business trip to South Sudan, it is necessary to allow for a longer time frame, especially if negotiations with government officials are planned. At the ministerial level, it can happen at any time that the person in question is suddenly called to appear at the presidential palace.
The official working day in state institutions, banks and private companies is usually from 09:00 to 16:00. In South Sudan, however, the reality is very vague and negotiations must be arranged in advance. Local partners cannot be considered punctual and it is necessary to expect the situation that someone else will constantly enter the partner’s office at the agreed hour.
The ability to communicate in English is sufficient in business circles and in higher positions in the state administration, it is necessary to get used to the local accent. The population speaks English at a minimal level. Personal negotiations are clearly preferred. If the partners do not know each other for a long time, business relations do not develop after email or phone. The willingness of locals to communicate electronically is very low. It is necessary to build personal trust first.
Basic principles when dealing with South Sudanese partners, the respect of which will help to promote the business plan:
Get to know business-economic opportunities and competition in the country of operation.
Verify the trustworthiness of the partner in all possible ways.
Prepare materials about the company in English.
Take your time. Gradually moving from general things to specific things will help the partner to better understand the proposals. Expect changes in the program and lateness of the partner, which are compensated by hospitality and a friendly atmosphere.
Due to the long lunch break and the unpredictable supply of electricity, it is a good idea to plan the work program for the morning.
Prepare the project well and be specific in the argumentation, adhere to the agreed deadlines, establish a friendly relationship with the partner and maintain regular communication.
January 9 – Day of the signing of the peace agreement
May 16 – SPLA Day
July 9 – Independence Day
July 30 – Martyrs’ Day
December 25 – Christmas
State institutions also observe religious holidays, including Muslim ones.