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Talking Points for Zhou Yabin, Deputy Director-General of the Ministry of Commerce by the Secretariat of the Chinese Follow-up Committee of The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation

2004/07/28

Zero-tariff treatment for some of the products exported to China from the least developed countries in Africa

In order to facilitate African commodities’ access into the Chinese market and promote the sound development of the bilateral trade, the Chinese Government announced in December 2003 at the Second Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Ethiopia the granting of zero-tariff treatment for some of the products exported to the Chinese market from the least developed countries in Africa and the starting of bilateral consultations with relevant countries on the list of zero-tariff products and rule of origin (ROO) in 2004.

China is a developing country.  By granting zero-tariff treatment to some of the products exported to China from the least developed countries in Africa, China aims to further expand its import from African countries and help them with their economic development in a pro-active way.  This is a decision made in accordance with China’s current economic affordability.
Based on the 2002 and 2003 lists of the commodities actually imported from 28 least developed African countries having diplomatic relations with China, a list of zero-tariff commodities and a corresponding rule of origin regarding 187 tariff items have been worked out after excluding the tariff-exempted commodities in 2004 and some sensitive commodities.  The list and rule of origin shall apply to 28 least developed African countries having diplomatic relations with China.  The Chinese Government has submitted the draft of the notes to be exchanged, the list of zero-tariff commodities and documents regarding the rule of origin, issuance of the ROO certificate and verification procedures to relevant governments through Chinese diplomatic missions in these countries.

The Chinese side hopes that governments of relevant countries will reply to confirm the notes to be exchanged on preferential tariff treatment for African countries and all the attachments before the end of August 2004 so that the Chinese Customs will grant zero-tariff treatment to the listed products from 1 January 2005.

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