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Wednesday, May 30 , 2012 - 05.35 GMT
Iran wants to be Ceylon Tea hub for Middle East


We are surrounded by strong Central Asian market of more than 300 Mn people who demand, just as own our Iranian market, more and more Ceylon Tea. I stress that Ceylon Tea export volumes to Iran can now be increased dramatically due to the growing demand. Also we can quench Central Asia’s tea thirst by acting as the Ceylon Tea hub for the region, visiting Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia and Pacific Affairs Abbas Araghchi.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister paid a courtesy call on Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce on 29 May at the Ministry of Industry & Commerce in Colombo.

Thanks to the strong leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, we now see an economic upswing and Sri Lanka’s international trade too has been on the increase, Iran included. The ninth session the Joint Commission for Economic Co-operation (JCEC) between Sri Lanka and Iran was held in Sri Lanka in September 2010. Iran –Sri Lanka Joint Commission (JC), was formed with the objective of further enhancing trade, culture, education and social relations between the two countries, Minister Bathiudeen said.

Minister Araghchi apprising Minister Bathiudeen, said: “We too are encouraged by growing trade volumes with Sri Lanka. The trade volumes between Iran and Asian countries have been growing and our bilateral trade with Sri Lanka too is on the rise. As for investment here, we have identified opportunities in marine port construction and development and as a result are especially keen on port projects on a partnership basis.

I stress that Sri Lanka and Iran should strengthen trade cooperation at business to business level as well. We also want to extend $ two million in ODI to Sri Lanka this year. Also, I am pleased to inform that Iran is taking Sri Pure Ceylon Tea very seriously, he said.

According to the Department of Commerce of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka is the largest tea supplier to Iran and 93% of Sri Lanka’s exports to Iran constitute of tea (2010), followed by coconuts and cashew, trailers & semi-trailers (not mechanically propelled) & parts, lead oxides (read lead and orange lead), palm oil and its fractions, optical, photographic, medical instruments & parts.

Bilateral trade between two countries continues to show a positive trend especially from 2002 to 2011. Total trade between the two countries surpassed US $ 1 million in 2008 and in 2011 it rose to US$ 1619 Mn.



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Last modified: May 30, 2012.

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