China’s Ministry of Finance has announced the elimination of customs duties for 98% of products imported from 16 developing countries, including Mozambique, from the start of September.
According to a statement released on Monday, the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council has decided to “grant zero-tariff treatment on 98 percent of taxable items originating in 16 least-developed countries”.
Most of the countries covered are located on the African continent. They include Togo, Eritrea, Central African Republic, Guinea-Conakry, Rwanda, Sudan, Chad and Djibouti, where in 2017 China opened their first military base abroad.
In Asia, the list includes Cambodia and Bangladesh, as well as Laos and Nepal, two countries with which China borders.
The ‘zero tariff’ status will also cover Kiribati, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, three of the countries visited in May and June by the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi.
The Solomon Islands and Kiribati recently shifted their diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to Beijing. The Solomon Islands also signed a pact with China that could lead to the establishment of a Chinese naval base in the South Pacific.
The order, signed on 22 July, underlines that the ‘zero tariff’ statute covers 8,786 imported products.
The treatment will gradually expand to all the least-developed countries having diplomatic relations with China, the statement said.