Ethiopia Welcomes UK’s new Trading Scheme

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia welcomed the United Kingdom’s new trading Scheme that aims to boost trade with developing countries.

The Developing Countries trading scheme (DCTS) which came into effect today, is expected to simplify trading rules and cut tariffs on products entering the UK from Ethiopia and 64 other developing countries.

The scheme “will support development, create jobs, and build strong economic and commercial ties,” the Ethiopian Investment Commission said.

UK’s Minister for International Trade Nigel Huddleston launched the scheme while on a visit to Ethiopia’s largest industrial business park, Bole Lemi.

“This scheme is a brilliant example of the UK taking advantage of its status as an independent trading nation and I am excited to see it implemented today,” the minister said.

Huddleston also added: “It will create opportunities for businesses around the world, supporting livelihoods, creating jobs and diversifying local and international supply chains. It will also benefit UK businesses and consumers by lowering import costs on a whole range of products.”

Ethiopia, which already has a trading relationship with the UK worth £838 million, pays zero tariffs on 100% of goods exported to the UK.

Under the new scheme, Ethiopia and 46 other countries will be able to produce goods using components from many more countries, growing their opportunities to trade with the UK.

The scheme is expected to be a relief particularly for investors working in the industrial parks which were affected by Ethiopia’s removal from duty free access to the US market in early 2022.

Industrial Parks Development Corporation of Ethiopia (IPDC) CEO, Aklilu Tadesse, said the IPDC has been searching for market options in cooperation with other stakeholders to address the market problems in connection with cancellation of AGOA.

Aklilu added that this opportunity is a demonstration of the results of the work done to facilitate a comfortable environment for investors and also get other market destinations which are in the process.

The UK imported an average of £22.8 billion worth of goods from DCTS countries over the last three years.

When combined with the UK’s network of 8 Economic Partnership Agreements, the DCTS means over 90 developing countries now benefit from duty-free or nearly duty-free trade.

The free trade access, however, comes with strings attached.

Retention of DCTS preferences will be “based on respect for human and labor rights and compliance with relevant international conventions, including those on civil and political rights, anti-corruption, climate change and the environment,” per government”s statement.