Arising from the positive response Iranian tea importers showed to last week’s visit of Indian tea delegation, the Tea Board is hopeful of raising the country’s shipment to Iran to 25 million kg (mkg) by 2015.

Iran is an important market for Indian tea but because of political uncertainties in the Gulf region, India’s overall shipment to West Asia and North Africa (WANA), including to Iran, suffered in the last few years.

Tea exports to Iran dropped from 13.92 mkg in 2008-09 to 13.28 mkg in 2009-10 but managed to rise to 15.89 mkg in 2010-11 before dropping to 11.05 mkg in 2011-12.

“The official data for 2012-13 is awaited but the Tea Board has targeted to export 25 mkg by 2015. Arising from our present delegation to Iran, we are hopeful of reaching this”, V. George Jenner, Tea Board’s Director of Tea Promotion for WANA, told Business Line.

The 19-member delegation led by Tea Board Chairman M.G.V.K. Bhanu had diplomatic, official and trade level deliberations.

“We held meetings with Indian Ambassador to Iran D.P. Srivastava, members of the Iranian Association of Tea led by its Chairman Hamid Reza, President of Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Ale Eshagh, Director Generals of Iran Customs Administration Koushestani and M.H. Baghenayat and many importers. Our Dubai office is following up”, Jenner said.

“The Government of Iran has assured to consider positively our demands to keep tea high in the priority categorisation and to simplify procedures relating to certification and renewal. It has agreed to reduce the custom valuation for south Indian tea”, he disclosed.

(This article was published on March 15, 2013)
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