December 27, 2005

Preferential trade agreement with Malawi

Mozambique and Malawi are to liberalise trade between the two countries under a preferential trade agreement. A source in the Mozambican Ministry of Industry and Trade announced that that was essentially an update of an agreement that the Portuguese colonial authorities had signed with Malawi before Mozambican independence. The liberalisation will allow free trade in goods originating in the two countries, free of all customs duties - with the exception of goods on a list of "sensitive" products. These include beer, soft drinks of the Coca-Cola and Schweppes brand marks, tobacco, sugar, vegetable oil, chickens and eggs, office equipment, petroleum products, weapons, ammunition and explosives. The rules of origin under this bilateral agreement are simpler than those stipulated in the SADC (Southern African Development Community) Trade Protocol. Manufactured goods must have a value added in Mozambique or Malawi of at least 25 per cent to count as "original". The agreement also envisages safeguards to protect businesses of each country from any unfair competition. (Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique, Maputo)

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