China’s Zero-tariff to Ethiopia opens door for trade expansion


ADDIS ABABA– China’s free-tariff treatment is expected to expand Ethiopia’s trade volume, maximize profit and increase product competitiveness in the global market, an economist said.

Approached by The Ethiopian Herald, Haramaya University Economics Lecturer Molla Alemayehu (PhD) said that the offer of zero-tariff treatment brings various advantages to Ethiopia’s economy. For companies, it minimizes cost, maximizes profit, enhances products’ competitiveness in the global market, and encourages demand for products and others.

“For Ethiopia, it increases trade volume, improves the country’s foreign exchange capacity, ensures trade balance, encourages re-investment, reduces unemployment, and others.”

However, there are challenges to adequately utilize the opportunity as there are some barriers that need to be addressed timely. Some of the challenges are the quality of products and their competitiveness in the market, knowledge, and technology transfer, trained manpower and financial supply. Getting the zero-tariff opportunity alone cannot guarantee the desired goal.

“Furthermore, other things should be considered to hunt the opportunity properly. One should know China’s market interest and demand like quality standards, items of products to export, the volume of export, knowing how to be competitive with others, and other issues. Conducting research is an addition to making it successful.”

Hence, efforts should be performed to ensure the quality of products to enable the effective utilization of China’s free tariff treatment, the academician recommended.

In a statement the Chinese Embassy sent to The Ethiopian Herald, China offered zero-tariff treatment to 98 percent of the tariff line, with 8,804 items of products originating from Ethiopia as of March 1, 2023. This move is to implement the initiatives announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Opening Ceremony of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

The move will further strengthen the economic ties between Ethiopia and China bringing benefits to both countries. This time special tariff treatment is provided to several African countries. The objective is to help expand these countries’ exports to China, grow their economy, and achieve independent and sustainable development.

China will stand firmly with Ethiopia and other African countries to embody the everlasting spirit of China-Africa friendship and fully implement the trade promotion measures announced by President Xi Jinping and all the outcomes of the FOCAC conference, the statement remarked.

The Ethiopian Herald 23 February  2023

Recommended For You