An easing of trade rules for some African countries by China’s customs authorities is allowing more agricultural products from the continent into the Asian juggernaut. South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe are among the African countries that have recently signed revised protocols allowing them access to the lucrative Chinese consumer market.
The move is in line with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s promise during the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) last year to open “green lanes” for agricultural products into China, speed up inspection and quarantine procedures, and broaden the products on which no tariff is charged.
South Africa, one of the largest lemon producers, can now export the fruit after China removed a cold-storage requirement, in place to prevent pests, that blocked many of its products. It has opened a market that is expected to generate millions of dollars in new revenue.