MAPUTO, April 27 (Xinhua) -- The Mozambican government and the European Union (EU) delegation in the country launched on Friday the implementation plan of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between six countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the EU.
Under the agreements, products excluding weapons from Mozambique as well as other five SADC countries which are South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland and Lesotho, will have free access to the EU market, with the exemption of customs duties.
"The APE guarantees access to the European market without customs duties or quotas, for all goods coming from Mozambique, except for weapons and armaments. The European market has 500 million consumers, with the highest purchasing power in the world, "said Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorff, Head of the EU Delegation to Mozambique on the launching ceremony.
According to Burgsdorff, the trade agreement is adapted to Mozambique's needs for development and provides mechanisms that allow the country to adopt measures to protect local industries and employment.
Under the new agreement, a textile product can enter EU tax-free if at least one phase of its production, such as weaving or knitting, has occurred in one of the countries.
Over a period of 10 years, Mozambique will gradually remove customs duties on about 74 percent of its imports from the European Union.
In 2016, Mozambique's exports to EU were mainly aluminium (60 percent), agricultural and fishery products such as sugar, tobacco, nuts, vegetables and shrimp, while imports from EU were mainly manufactured goods such as machinery, transport equipment and chemicals.