South Sudan joins African export credit agency

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-16 23:53:57|Editor: yan
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JUBA, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan has joined the African Trade and Insurance Agency (ATI), a multilateral financial institution providing export credit insurance, political risk insurance, investment insurance and other financial products to member countries.

The world's youngest nation becomes the 14th member country of ATI after a six-year wait.

The trade body, with both commercial and development mandates, supports African countries by covering risks to companies and investors doing business in member countries.

It also covers investment and trade risks ranging from breach of contract to non-payment and government expropriation.

John Lentaigne, ATI Chief Underwriting Officer, told Xinhua on Tuesday that the East African country was able to complete its membership in late 2017 with an initial share capital subscription of 7.8 million U.S dollars provided by the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Lentaigne said South Sudan's membership in ATI can help boost trade and foreign investment because the 7.8 million dollar capital contribution can reduce risks of doing business in the war-torn country.

"We have a range of products that can mitigate a country's risks whether it is real or perceived. For example the risk of a government not honoring their contractual commitment, risk of war, political violence, inability to convert current and payment risk whether on the government or the private sector," he said.

South Sudan depends on oil revenue for 98 percent of its budget, but production decreased significantly due to civil war that erupted in December 2013, causing most oilfields in the country's oil-rich northern region to shut down.

Oil production fell to less than 130,000 barrels per day (bpd) from 350,000 bpd in 2011.

South Sudan is currently struggling with hyperinflation amid shortage of foreign reserves to support imports.