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Tuesday, July 31 , 2012 - 8.55 GMT
SL grabs access to fifth largest global buyer of Pure Ceylon Tea


Sri Lanka has succeeded in becoming a direct Tea supplier, in addition to be the dominant tea supplier to Iraq-the fifth largest buyer of Pure Ceylon Tea in the world.

“Our direct shipments of Pure Ceylon Tea to Iraq have, in terms of value, increased by 66% in 2011 to $ 68.6m from 2010’s $ 41.3m. Also, in terms of volume, 22,624 metric tons in 2011 reported increasing from 13052 metric tons in 2010,” said Minister of Industry & Commerce of Sri Lanka Rishad Bathiudeen.

Minister Bathiudeen revealed this in the aftermath of the 30 July high level discussions he held with top ranking officials from several Government Ministries, Boards and Chambers at the preparatory meeting for the forthcoming eighth session of the Iraq-Sri Lanka Joint Committee for Economic & Technical Cooperation (ISLJECT).

“This is a highly welcome development in our Middle Eastern market penetration efforts and this is important not only about our Tea, but the overall penetration levels” Minister Bathiudeen added.
Minister was also informed by the representatives from the Tea Board that due to some technicalities of the Iraqi banking system, Iraqi market was buying Pure Ceylon Tea via Jordan, UAE/Dubai or Kuwait, rather than directly purchasing from Sri Lanka.

Iraq was the fifth largest buyer of Pure Ceylon Tea in the world and the fourth largest Pure Ceylon Tea buyer in the Middles East (World’s leading Pure Ceylon Tea buyer being the Russian Federation and the Middle East’s leading buyer being Iran).

Bilateral trade between the two countries which stood at $ 8.76 Mn in 2003 had reached $ 37.5 Mn in 2009 with 98% of it being tea exports to Iraq. Sri Lanka was the major supplier of tea to Iraq with 65% of the total annual intake of our tea by Iraq until 1990.

Currently, more than 90% of Sri Lanka exports to Iraq consist of tea.The 7th Session of the Sri Lanka-Iraq Joint Committee for Economic and Technical Cooperation, which was held in Colombo 21-22 October 2010, concluded successfully with the establishment of Committees to study various areas of cooperation.

  006 KS  



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