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China Gives Uganda, Other LDCs Free Access To Market

China has removed all taxes on 98 percent of the goods it will be importing from Uganda and nine other poor countries starting December 1 this year.

A statement issued by the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council on Wednesday says the Asian Tiger will waive all tariffs on 98 percent of the related imports from the countries.

This was confirmed by Chinese ambassador to Uganda, Zhang Lizhong that the move takes effect next month.

The other benefiting countries are Tanzania, Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Lesotho, Malawi, Zambia, Afghanistan and Sao Tome and Principe. Experts said the move will raise China’s imports from LDCs, especially those in Africa, and promote economic and trade cooperation.

The policy targets 8,786 items, including agricultural products, chemicals and chemical products.

In a similar move in August, the country offered zero-tariff treatment for 98 percent of taxable products imported from 16 LDCs including Djibouti, Laos and Rwanda and Togo.

“The treatment will gradually expand to all the least-developed countries having diplomatic relations with China,” the statement said.

Experts say this was prudent for China which plans to import 300 billion dollars worth of products from Africa in the next three years.

At the eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2021, Uganda President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni called for a trade deal between China and Africa, similar to the AGOA of the US.

China has also unveiled plans to set up a green lane for African agricultural products to enter the Chinese market, expand the range of products covered by zero-tariff treatment and import 300 billion dollars worth of products from the continent.

Trade between China and Africa has grown hugely, with agricultural important amounts to 5.03 billion dollars worth of agricultural products from Africa in 2021.

In 2020 Uganda imported goods worth 1.36 billion dollars or about from China with goods worth only 39 million dollars going the opposite direction.

Africa mainly exports raw materials from minerals, and agricultural products, while African countries import virtually everything including textiles, electronics, and curtilary including porcelain and plastics.

Increasingly China’s exports to Africa are including agricultural equipment and automobiles.

URN

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