The UK government is set to launch its new Developing Countries Trading Scheme during the coming Monday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The new scheme will be effective immediately in the same day.
The launch of the scheme is scheduled to take place on June 19, 2023, at the Bole Lemi Industrial Park in Addis Ababa. The event will be attended by representatives from the UK Embassy, the Government of Ethiopia, and local Ethiopian businesses.
The UK Trade Minister and top officials of the government are expected to attend the launching event.
The scheme aims to reduce export costs for Ethiopian companies looking to trade with the UK market, providing a boost to the country’s struggling economy, which has been hit hard by the suspension of its participation in the US African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) due to human rights violations allegations during the war in Tigray in January 2022.
The launch of the scheme is seen as a way to offset the impact of the AGOA suspension on Ethiopia’s industries and promote economic growth and development in the country.
The suspension had a significant impact on Ethiopia’s industrial exports, particularly from parks like Hawassa, where exports halved and several factories closed, leaving over 5,000 workers jobless.
The UK’s new scheme will provide tariff reductions and simpler terms of trade to 65 developing countries, including Ethiopia.
The initiative is expected to help Ethiopian authorities in their efforts to recover the post-war economy.
During March this year, China has also granted a zero-free treatment on 98 percent of taxable items originating from Ethiopia, demonstrating the international community’s efforts to support Ethiopia’s economic recovery.
Under the UK’s Developing Countries Trading Scheme, Ethiopia will benefit from duty-free exports to the UK on everything but arms.
It is a significant development that is expected to boost trade between the two countries and promote economic growth and development in Ethiopia.
The scheme will replace the UK Generalized Scheme of Preferences, providing a more streamlined and simplified approach to trade between the UK and developing countries.
In addition to launching the new Developing Countries Trading Scheme, the UK is set to endorse Ethiopia’s efforts to accede to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on June 20th, 2023.
The UK’s endorsement is a crucial step in helping Ethiopia to complete its accession process, which will open up new trade opportunities and promote economic growth and prosperity in the country.
The UK will provide assistance to the Ethiopian Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTRI) in driving the accession process forward, by identifying the necessary activities to complete the process and providing technical assistance where needed. This includes facilitating key meetings with interlocutors, such as the WTO Secretariat, and ensuring that the WTO accession process receives strong visibility at senior levels of the Ethiopian government.
Despite attempts to obtain a response from the UK Embassy in Addis regarding both the Developing Countries Trading Scheme launch and the endorsement of Ethiopia’s efforts to accede to the World Trade Organization, no comment was provided prior to the events. The embassy declined to comment until after the launch and endorsement had taken place.