Agri Business

Tea Board for preferential trade pact with China

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on February 22, 2018 Published on February 22, 2018
India produces nearly 20 mkg of green tea in a year and there is a steady growth in production

TEA_ESTATE5   -  Reuters

‘Higher duties hurting bilateral trade’

India and China should look at working out a preferential trade agreement so as to boost import of Chinese green tea to India and export the country’s black variety.

According to Prabhat K Bezboruah, Chairman, Tea Board of India, while India exports 8-8.5 million kg of tea to China each year, export of Chinese green tea to India is currently only to the tune of 350,000 kg.

India imposes 150 per cent import duty on tea from China, while China imposes 50 per cent duty on tea from India. Nearly 80 per cent of China’s annual tea production of around 2,600 million kg (mkg) is green tea while the remaining 18 per cent is Oolong variety. On the other hand, nearly 95 per cent of India’s annual production of close to 1,260-1,270 mkg is black tea. “Chinese green tea imports to India are not significant but have the potential to grow. The two countries need to work out preferential trade agreement so that Chinese green tea can come in at lower import duty,” Bezboruah said at a B2B event of a Chinese delegation from Dali, a city in China’s southwestern Yunnan province.

According to him, there is a good demand for green tea in India and its consumption has been growing steadily. “If the import duty on high-end Chinese green tea is brought down then Indians will have access to good quality tea which is also considered to be healthy,” he said.

However, according to market sources, India produces approximately 20 mkg of green tea in a year and the production has been growing keeping pace with the steady rise in demand.

India-China collaboration

According to Chen Jian, Secretary of Committee of the CPC of Dali, who brought a 22-member business delegation, India and China can collaborate in the areas of tea, tourism, culture, education and healthcare.

“We firmly believe co-operation between India and China in the areas of tourism and education will help strengthen ties between the two countries,” Jian said. Tea Board Chairman also felt that both the countries could co-operate and collaborate in the area of tea research. “India and China are not competitors as far as tea is concerned, but rather complement each other.”

Published on February 22, 2018
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor