What Serbia Will Export to China Without Customs, and Which Chinese Products It Will Buy

Source: RTS Monday, 23.10.2023. 11:40
(Photo: style-photography/shutterstock.com)
The Free Trade Agreement with China opens the door to duty-free exports of around 10,000 Serbian products. From the Chinese market, Serbia will be getting 2,000 products fewer. The state says – mostly things we don’t produce ourselves. They expect the agreement to increase the scope of the local economy and bring new investors.

From the day the agreement comes into effect, Serbia will export fresh fruit, meat and vegetable products, jams, beer and water to China duty-free. Those products comprise 60% of the list of the domestic agricultural and food products that Serbia applied for the removal of customs. Oil plants and mineral water, among other things, belong in this group.

For 16% of the products from the lists, until the full removal, the customs will be reduced over the next five years. The list features fresh and dried vegetables, in the fruit category – pears and grapes, chewing gum, fruit juices, ketchup and some confectionary products. The state expects perhaps the biggest boost in the export of wines. The minister of agriculture, Jelena Tanaskovic, says that, for the Serbian economy, it will mean new jobs and the mitigation of some of the uncertainty that is currently present due to the situation in the market, where business partners are changing.

– For example, the customs rate on wine is now 42%. In the next five years it will go to zero – Tanaskovic emphasizes.

In two decades, the export of Serbian wines to China has gone from 80 to 380,000 liters. Serbia sells mostly good-quality white wine to China at a price of around seven euros per bottle. Experts says that they are ready to pay even more.

Professor Darko Jaksic, PhD, from the Institute for Science Application in Agriculture, points out that the advantage is in the fact that the EU does not have this kind of an agreement with China.

The Chamber of Commerce of Serbia also expects that the agreement could bring new investors who would add value to the Serbian exporting list, which currently mostly pertains to raw materials. A product made from at least 51% domestic raw materials is considered a Serbian product.

– These are primarily fresh fruit and vegetables, certain quantities of meat, which is a considerable incentive for the renewal of livestock populations, which have considerably dropped in the past 10 years – says Bojan Stanic of the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia.

Of the industrial products, Serbia will export iron and steel products, central heating boilers, fuel pumps, hydraulic turbines, home appliances, seats, wood, pharmaceutical and cosmetics products, cleaning products, plastic products, mineral fertilizers and textile to China duty-free.

In the next five years, Chinese customs on Serbian cables in the automotive industry, car tires, ceramic tiles, air-conditioning devices, freezers, heat pumps and forklifts will be removed.

When the agreement comes into effect, China will export live animals, palm oil, rice, shiitake mushrooms, kale, asparagus, eggplant, coconuts, bananas, ananas and avocado to Serbia duty-free.

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