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Popular drink:China imports 30 million kg of black tea annually.Ritu Raj Konwar  

Two apex industry organisations, Indian Tea Association (ITA) and China Tea Marketing Association (CTMA), have signed a memorandum of understanding to promote green and black tea consumption in major tea markets in Europe , the U.S., Russia and West Asia, besides India and China. The pact could also involve organisation of joint events.

The MoU was signed here between Vivek Goenka, ITA chairman, and Wang Qing, president, CTMA, who led a 14-member team.

Mr. Goenka said that the China imported 30 million kg of black tea annually amid its rising popularity in the country where green tea had earlier held sway. Indian exports stood at about 8.7 million kg in 2017 with the market being dominated by Sri Lanka and Kenya. An export of 15 million kg was being targeted next year. It may be mentioned that Tea Board and ITA had organised a tea delegation to China in October to boost trade between the two countries To a question, Mr. Qing said that China would not look to India as a major market as prices were more attractive in their domestic market. China was the world’s third largest exporter (mainly of green tea).

Small tea sector

ITA said that Solidaridad Asia had taken the lead role in forging this alliance which, it felt, would promote sustainable development of the tea industry in the two countries, including that of the small tea sector. The network works to promote sustainable production of 13 commodities across nine regions.

The MoU covers the areas of trade promotion, intellectual property protection and technology exchange.

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