The South Sudan-China Friendship Association (SSCHIFA) met with South Sudanese traders in a bid to air the issues hampering trade between South Sudan and China on Saturday afternoon, 9th of December. Up to 30 traders and representatives of varying companies attended the meeting with SSCHIFA President Hon. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, Board Member Prof. Nyiel Gordon Kuol and Executive Secretary Mr. Reuben Kuany at the Shandong High Speed building as they searched for aid in addressing issues and possible solutions relating to the importing/exporting of commodities to and from China.
Some traders urged SSCHIFA to consider advocating to remove some trade barriers. These barriers including high and discouraging duties collected by various government departments. They wished that the association would advocate on their behalf in order to ease the issue of taxes as the current economic times can be somewhat challenging. Furthermore, the traders expressed enthusiasm and excitement at the prospect of trading with China via SSCHIFA.
SSCHIFA President Hon. Barnaba Marial encouraged the traders to continue running their businesses and not to give up. He assured them that SSCHIFA would do it's best in accordance with the association mandate to facilitate the traders in doing business between South Sudan and China. SSCHIFA is recognised by both South Sudan and China and as such it has the ability to assist business people between both nations. As trade and culture are currently integral avenues for enabling the people-to-people relations between South Sudan and China, SSCHIFA continually seeks to further trade and cultural exchanges and collaboration. SSCHIFA is acting upon the issues discussed during Saturday afternoon's meeting and encourages companies or entrepreneurs looking to do business between South Sudan and China to become members of SSCHIFA.
During a commemorative ceremony held on the 24th November 2017, the President of South Sudan, President Salva Kiir Mayardiit, offered words of thanks to the Ambassador He Xiangdong and the Chinese government for a new building being gifted to South Sudan. President Kiir was appreciative of China and their continuing support for South Sudan.
Chinese Ambassador He Xiang Dong handed over the keys to the conference facility to the government of South Sudan. The Ambassador said, “On Behalf of the government of the People’s Republic of China, I have the great honour today to officially handover the China aided conference facility to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. To the government of South Sudan.” Whilst accepting the gift, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hon. Deng Alor Kuol also shared some words commending the contributions being made to South Sudan by China. This conference facility highlights another example of how the South Sudan-China relationship is growing by the day.
In recent years, China has been making inroads into Africa through a variety of projects and in South Sudan this is no different. It's clear to see that the relationship between South Sudan and China is growing slowly with a number of collaborative economic projects signed as recently as September and now the gift of this conference facility. As the relationship continues to grow at the national government level, SSCHIFA is continuing to facilitate the people-to-people aspect of South Sudan’s-China relations. Building upon the relationship through exchanges at the private level.
During a gruelling schedule of meetings, discussions on issues of development, and ceremonies, the South Sudan-China Friendship Association's (SSCHIFA) President, Hon. Barnaba Marial Benjamin and SSCHIFA Board Member, Prof. Nyiel Gordon Kuol recently attended the crowded African Students’ Job Fair at the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE), and China’s Zhongguancun Science Park in November 2017 in Beijing.
SSCHIFA’s top brass were partaking in the 2017 Africa-China Friendship Organisations Leaders Meeting when they attended the African Students’ Job Fair, meeting in process a number of the South Sudanese nationals currently based in Beijing. The job fair was attended by some of China’s successful international companies working alongside the Belt and Road Initiative throughout Africa and Asia, including the likes of energy company TBEA Sun Oasis and IMWAY from the Zhongguancun Science Park.
Hailed as the Silicon Valley of China, Zhongguancun Science Park is the home of many technology-driven Chinese corporations and a site where many of China’s recent scientific developments are on display. According to Zhongguancun President, Zhang Xiaodong, the Science Park is not only a place for China’s business and development but also a place for career opportunities for internationals. Zhongguancun offers a range of internship opportunities with a line to full time work with its corporations. Whilst SSCHIFA pursues quality opportunities to further enable people-to-people relations between South Sudan and China, SSCHIFA’s attendance at the African Students’ Job Fair and Zhongguancun Science Park can also be promising for SSCHIFA members looking to work between or in both South Sudan and China.
The South Sudan-China Friendship Association (SSCHIFA) was excited to be represented by the Chairperson Hon. Dr. Barnaba Marial Benjamin and SSCHIFA Board Member, Professor Nyiel Gordon Kuol at the Africa-China Friendship Organization Leaders Meeting on the 14th November in Beijing. The meeting was called by the Chinese Peoples Association with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) and the Chinese - African People's Friendship Association (CAPFA) under the theme of “New Opportunities for Belt and Road and China-Africa Cooperation”.
It was quite an opportunity to bolster Africa-China relations with delegations from approximately 20 African nations and leaders from 24 different associations. Furthermore, diplomats, including South Sudan's Ambassador to China Amb. Michael Hussein Milik, Chinese ministry representatives and Chinese friendship Associations also attended the meeting. With such a variety of attendees it can be seen that Africa-China relationships are continuing to broaden beyond the scope of governments. The general consensus from this meeting was that these delegations are willing to work alongside China's Belt and Road Initiative. Thus broadening the spectrum of non-governmental work between African nations and China. Going forward, SSCHIFA will also look to synergise its projects with the Belt and Road Initiative to bring further opportunities to South Sudan.
The Chinese ambassador, H.E. He Xiang Dong, made remarks stressing on development and the humanitarian assistance rendered to the Republic of South Sudan by the People's Republic of China. He commented on the recent signing of collaborative projects worth $100,000,000 by him and South Sudan's Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr. Dhieu Dau. These projects include the construction of the Northern Corridor Road that will connect South Sudan to Kenya through Lockichogio to Eldoret and Nairobi. A project that will bring economic boosts to South Sudan and provide more social inclusivity with regional neighbours.
Another important project to note is the construction of Juba Hospital that is currently ongoing and is due to be completed in the near future. Ambassador He also discussed the capacity building efforts made for South Sudan through both short training courses and government scholarships for long term Bachelor and Graduate programs.
Finally, the South Sudan Minister of Finance took to the stage to make a few remarks on behalf of South Sudan appreciating the People's Republic of China for their great support of the nation. He remarked that China is a great friend to the Republic of South Sudan and urged China to continue supporting the young nation. For the Chinese professionals and other nationals in South Sudan and around the world, SSCHIFA wishes you a "Happy National Day!" or in Mandarin, "国庆节快乐!"
Our editorial team is made of writers who have studied and/or lived in China. They share China's story with South Sudan.
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