South Sudan making progress on regional trade rules: official
South Sudan said Friday it was making progress on the East African Community (EAC) rules after the regional trade bloc called on the war-torn country to waive visa requirements and offer duty-free market for all goods originating from the region.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Mawien Makol told Xinhua that these EAC requirements have been delayed due to technical reasons, but they remain ready to implement them.
"These things were delayed by technical issues, including our share payment to the EAC budget. South Sudan is ready to implement what is required of it," Makol said.
Makol's remarks came after the EAC Sectoral Council of Ministers meeting in Arusha late August requested South Sudan to meet the compulsory integration requirements of the regional bloc treaty.
Makol disclosed they will soon be completing payment of 1 million U.S. dollars to the EAC budget, and have already created the ministry of EAC Affairs, elected members to regional parliament and laws establishing the national revenue authority.
South Sudan became the sixth member of the EAC that includes Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi and will have to implement the common market protocol, customs union which allows free movement of goods and people while maintaining a common tariff on imported goods outside the region.
Following the outbreak of conflict in December 2013, South Sudan had hoped to implement all EAC protocols in phases until 2019, due to the economic hardship as result of war and decline in oil production.