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Cablegate: Sudan - Southern Sudan Trade Delegation: If You

VZCZCXYZ0001
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHC #0046 2341743
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 211738Z AUG 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA IMMEDIATE 0000
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA IMMEDIATE 0000
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI IMMEDIATE 0000
INFO RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM IMMEDIATE 0000

UNCLAS STATE 090046

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
KHARTOUM PLEASE PASS TO CONSULATE JUBA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL EAID SU BEXP ECON EINV KE UG
SUBJECT: SUDAN - SOUTHERN SUDAN TRADE DELEGATION: IF YOU
BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME

REF: A. (A) STATE 35331
B. (B) KAMPALA 514
C. (C) KAMPALA 560
D. (D) NAIROBI 1049
E. (E) KHARTOUM 1128

1. This is an action request. Please see para 8.

-----------
BACKGROUND
-----------

2. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) ended 21 years
of civil war between Northern and Southern Sudan in January
2005. The United States continues its ardent support of the
CPA, which calls for the democratic transformation of Sudan
through power sharing, wealth sharing, and security sector
reform. As part of our support for implementation of the CPA
by the parties, we see the economic development of Southern
Sudan as imperative to the future of Sudan,s Government of
National Unity (GNU) and the semi-autonomous Government of
Southern Sudan (GOSS).

3. U.S. interest in the economic viability of the GOSS
notwithstanding, U.S. sanctions policy on the whole of Sudan
is complex and has been somewhat of a deterrent to U.S.
companies potentially interested in operating in the region.
In addition, the conflict in Darfur, though entirely separate
from the economic recovery needs of Southern Sudan, has
overshadowed Sudan,s reputation on the world stage and
further inhibited otherwise viable businesses from market
engagement. (Reftels B,C, & D)

4. Despite these factors, we believe there is sufficient
regional and international interest from the U.S. business
community to sponsor a U.S. trade delegation to Southern
Sudan, including the regional capital of Juba and other
relevant towns, for those businesses interested in learning
more about this exciting frontier market. Sanctions on Sudan
are not insurmountable for the eager investor. Southern
Sudan and its regional Government are exempt from many of the
Sudanese sanctions administered by the Department of
Treasury,s Office of Foreign Assets Control, making it
easier for companies to do business there.

--------------------------------------------- --
Moving Forward with U.S. Trade Delegation - Our Field of
Dreams
--------------------------------------------- --

5. The Consulate General in Juba is prepared to host a
trade delegation of 30 - 40 representatives from interested
companies in a variety of sectors from September 22 to
October 3 with the purpose of visiting Juba and other
relevant towns of interest in Southern Sudan; meeting with
GOSS government officials; and becoming familiar with the
operational environment in Sudan (ref E). For planning
purposes, and in order to secure participation to the fullest
extent, it might become necessary to shorten the duration of
the trip and shift it to the week of September 29 to October
3.

6. The delegation,s itinerary will ultimately depend on
the interests of those companies who participate, but the
GOSS continues to encourage investors focused on natural
resource exploration/extraction (bearing in mind USG
prohibitions on transactions or activities relating to the
petroleum or petrochemical industries extend to the entire
territory of Sudan, including Southern Sudan);
finances/banking; transportation; and agriculture. (ref E)
We are also aware that technology/communications firms might
be interested in Southern Sudan as well. ConGen Juba would
reserve local accommodations and arrange intra-country
travel; however, delegation participants would be required to
secure their own transportation to and from Juba. Department
of State and possibly Department of Commerce representatives
will be on the delegation as well to answer questions of
policy and sanctions process. Each delegation participant
would be required to secure a valid Sudanese visa.

7. At this time we are attempting to identify interested
companies and secure the participation of their
representatives on the trade delegation. We are in
communication with the National Foreign Trade Council,s
(NFTC) project USA Engage, which promotes multicultural
cooperation on commerce, particularly under the presence of
sanctions. We are hopeful that NFTC members, whether
regionally or internationally based, will be willing to
participate.

--------------------------------
It Isn,t Quite Iowa, But...
--------------------------------

8. ACTION ADDIS, KAMPALA, NAIROBI: Posts are requested to
engage with their local American Chamber of Commerce or other
American business association channels with the intent of
conveying information about the upcoming trade delegation to
interested company representatives; ascertaining their
particular area of interest (i.e. agriculture, resource
extraction, etc.); and securing their participation on the
delegation. Department needs to have a firm an idea of
participation by August 29, if this not possible, please
reach out to AF/SPG with perceived obstacles as soon as
possible. In addition, Posts are encouraged to solicit views
on preferred duration of the expedition within the September
22 - October 3 timeframe posed above. Posts are requested to
reach out to AF/SPG Owen (Jimmy) Clarke or Pamela Fierst with
any questions.

9. Posts are thanked in advance for their work on this
challenging, but rewarding, initiative.
RICE

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