IITC Tea convention begins, to resurrect global market

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Guwahati, Nov 22 (UNI) The tea convention of India International Trade Conference (IITC) 2007 began here today to resurrect the global Tea market.

Assam Chief Miniter Tarun Gogoi inagurated the convention with more than 500 participants, buyers and sellers from at least 24 countries.

So far delegates from Russia, United Kingdom, Germany, Pakistan, Egypt, Kenya and Sri Lanka have arrived and some from China and Indonesia were expected to reach here by tomorrow.

Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh was also present along with Union Commerce Minister Kamal Nath.

''The focus is on marketing and bring under one roof the entire tea producing fraternity of India as well as the merchant exporting community and the large internal tea buying fraternity,''IITC local steering committee chairman Harish Sonowal said.

The convention was being organised by the Consultative Committee of Plantation Associations (CCPA), in conjunction with the Tea Board of India and various other tea traders, promoters and exporters' fora.

''Over 450 delegates have already registered for the three-day convention and more confirmations were still pouring in,'' Mr Sonowal said.

He further said a general tea testing session for the delegates, with an array of Indian tea would be the main attraction of the event.

''Besides, there will be five business sessions on Indian Tea Panorama, Assam Tea, Showcasing Indian Tea, Key markets for Indian Tea, The great Indian Tea bazaar and Global sourcing of Tea,'' he added.

It is for the first time such a convention is being organised in Assam, which produces around 52 per cent of total tea in India.

''Last fiscal, India produced 947 mn kg of Tea, of which Assam's contibution was around 484 mn kg and such a festival will help the state recover from the slump by increasing exports,'' Mr Sonowal added.

The festival would also give the foreign buyers to visit thwe Tea gardens.

He also predicted a sharp rise in Tea prices in the auction market adding that the convention would also create a forum to regulate prices and production.

UNI

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