The government is set to trim tariffs on UK imports from developing countries to both boost their economies and bring Brits “lower prices and more choice”.
Around 70 countries currently qualify for the new Developing Countries Trading Scheme (DCTS), which will also introduce simpler bureaucratic rules when exporting to the UK once approved.
The UK currently uses a similar scheme that rolled over from the EU but has introduced its own post-Brexit version, which the government claims will be “more generous” and “pro-growth”.
Lowering tariffs will mean British customers will pay less for products like rice from Pakistan and trainers from Nigeria.
“Countries like Bangladesh and Vietnam have proven it’s possible to trade your way to better living standards,” international trade secretary Liz Truss said.
“Trade fundamentally empowers people and has done more than any single policy in history to lift millions of people around the world out of poverty.”
Poverty rates in Vietnam plunged from over 20 per cent in 2010 to around 5.9 per cent in 2020, while its exports to the UK alone more than tripled in the decade between 2009 and 2019.
The new trade scheme is undergoing an eight-week consultation before it is approved.