UK Set to Reduce Taxes on Approximately 99% of African Imports
The United Kingdom will reduce import taxes on hundreds more products from developing African countries in order to strengthen trade ties through the Developing Countries Trading Scheme. The program goes into effect in January 2023.
According to the Department for International Trade, the measure is part of a more extensive push by the UK to use trade to “drive prosperity and help eradicate poverty,” as well as reduce reliance on aid.
The trading program will affect approximately 99% of African imports from 65 developing countries. It also simplifies trade rules such as the rules of origin, which specify how much of a product must be manufactured in the country of origin.
South Africa and Nigeria, the continent’s two largest economies, account for 60% of total UK-Africa trade. Rwanda, Mauritius, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Mozambique, Kenya, and South Africa are among the eight Sub-Saharan African countries that list the UK as one of their top ten export destinations. Great Britain has long been chastised for undervaluing trade with Africa. The amount of goods that the UK sends to Africa is not only small but also decreasing.
The UK Minister for Africa, Vicky Ford, explained, “The overarching aim of all this work is to try to help build the resilience of countries and to help them have much more durable prosperity. For far too long, African countries have endured the fallout from global forces outside their control, and the compelling tasks are to build more sustainable economies in African countries.”