The visit is aimed at boosting exports and the team will meet buyers in these countries.

Our Bureau

Kolkata, Sept. 1

A 15-MEMBER delegation led by Mr N.K. Das, Chairman of the Tea Board, will be leaving on a seven-day trip on Friday to Egypt, Iran and the United Arab Emirates.

According to Mr Das, the delegation will comprise members of the Indian Tea Association (ITA) and Indian Merchant Tea Exporters (Forum). The team will be visiting Dubai, Cairo and Teheran.

"We would be meeting the tea buyers in these countries. The visit is aimed at boosting tea exports from India. Moreover, there is a seminar on tea at Cairo and it is organised by the Indian embassy in Egypt," Mr Das told Business Line.

Tea experts said there is a great demand for Assam orthodox tea. During the period January-May 2005, tea exports to Iran jumped to 2.05 million kg against 0.49 million kg in the corresponding period of 2004. The average price realisation also improved to Rs 113.76 per kg from Rs 72.04 per kg.

Sources said Dubai is mostly a tea trading hub. The Indian tea would try to convince the buyers there to trade more of Indian teas.

Situation for Indian tea industry in Egypt has improved last year after the Government reduced the duty from 20 per cent to five per cent. However, Mr Das said it was applicable to everyone and efforts should be made to promote more of Indian teas.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 2, 2005)
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