‘Needed a preferential tea trade agreement between India, China’

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Kolkata, Feb 22 (IANS) Pitching for a preferential tea trade agreement between India and China, Tea Board Chairman P.K. Bezbaruah on Thursday said both the countries were not competitors.

“India and China were not competitors as far as tea was concerned, but rather complemented each other,” he said before a 22-member business delegation from Dali, a prefecture in China’s southwestern Yunnan province, visiting the city.

Bezbaruah also said duties at present, in both the countries, were prohibitive which was restricting exports from both the directions and required to be lowered.

About 81 per cent of China’s annual tea production is green tea and 18 percent of Oolong variety, while 98 per cent of the tea produced in India annually is black tea.

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China’s annual production was 2600 million kg, while India’s output was half of that, he said.

India exports around seven to eight million kg of tea to China, while the the latter’s exports of green tea to India was not significant.

Bezbaruah also advocated harmonisation of maximum residue limit for different pesticides by both the countries.

The Dali delegation was headed by Chen Jian, Secretary of Committee of the CPC of Dali Prefecture and Honorary Chairman of Dali People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries

They were to explore opportunities for possible tie-ups in the fields of tourism, education, culture and commerce – such as walnuts, textiles, tea, and natural spring water.

–IANS

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