China will grant zero-tariff treatment to 98 percent of taxable items from 10 least-developed countries in a bid to promote an open global economy.
Starting from Dec. 1, China will waive all tariffs on 98 percent of the related imports from Uganda, Afghanistan, Benin and Burkina Faso.
Other countries on the least include Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Malawi, Sao Tome and Principe, Tanzania, and Zambia.
The development was made public by the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council of China.
“China announced today to grant zero-tariff treatment on 98% of taxable items originating in 10 countries including Uganda. This move will come into force on December 1 this year,” Chinese Ambassador to Uganda Mr. Zhang Lizhong also confirmed.
The step is conducive to opening up with win-win outcomes, building an open global economy, and helping least-developed countries to accelerate their development, the commission said.
This policy measure will gradually expand to all the least-developed countries that have established diplomatic ties with China, it added.
The trade volume between the two countries in 2021 amounted to 1.07 billion U.S. dollars, registering a 28.5 percent increase, against the shock waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.
By the end of 2020, China’s direct investment in Uganda reached 710 million U.S. dollars and the investment is mainly focused on manufacturing, agriculture, mining, and logistics.
According to Uganda’s ambassador to China Oliver Wonekha, Beijing,
has been playing a central role in building transport and energy infrastructure in Uganda.
China is financing the expansion of the country’s Entebbe International Airport, the main gateway to the world.
China also financed the construction of the Kampala-Entebbe expressway linking the capital Kampala to the airport.
In the energy sector, China financed the construction of the Karuma Hydro Power Plant and Isimba Hydro Power Plant which helped address Uganda’s energy deficit, a major bottleneck to the country’s development, the ambassador said.
“China has assisted Uganda to move faster on the path of development,” Wonekha said.
Figures by the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), a state-run agency, showed that China ranks among the top five sources of Foreign Direct Investment.
Several Chinese-owned industrial parks have opened in the country and created much-needed jobs, according to UIA.
China National Offshore Oil Corporation is also implementing its investment of 4.7 billion U.S. dollars in Uganda’s oil sector which would help stimulate the country’s economic development, experts say.