UK International Trade Minister Nigel Huddleston launched a new trade scheme from Bole Lemi Industrial Park in Ethiopia’s capital today that will eliminate tariffs on Ethiopian exports to the UK, reducing costs for Ethiopian exporters.
The Developing Countries Trading Scheme, which takes effect today, will cut tariffs for products from 65 developing nations including Ethiopia. Zero tariffs will be applied to all Ethiopian exports to the UK under the scheme.
The scheme also offers more flexible rules of origin that will allow Ethiopian businesses to incorporate inputs from more countries into their products destined for UK consumers. UK officials hope the elimination of tariffs and liberalized trade rules, effective today, will provide a boost to Ethiopia’s key exports like coffee, flower, leather and spices.
Ethiopia currently ships USD 1.1 billion worth of goods to the UK each year. But with tariffs now eliminated, Ethiopian exporters expect sales volumes and values to rise.
Trade Minister Huddleston said the scheme “will create opportunities for businesses around the world.” Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Minister for Africa Andrew Mitchell said it shows how the UK can use trade policy “to deliver development goals.”
The UK is already one of Ethiopia’s largest trading partners, particularly within Europe. The new scheme is aimed at further expanding two-way trade and investment ties.