India Intl Tea Convention in Guwahati from Thursday

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Guwahati, Nov 20 (UNI) Showcasing India as an one-stop shop for a wide range of quality tea would form the focal point of the India International Tea Convention (IITC) 2007, which starts here from November 22.

Addressing a press conference today, chairman of the local steering committee of IITC 2007, Harish Sonowal said, ''The focus is on marketing, with the main objective being to 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.'' The convention has been organized by the Consultative Committee of Plantation Associations (CCPA), in conjunction with the Tea Board of India and various other tea traders, promoters and exporters forums. The event is also being supported by the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India, and the Government of Assam.

Over 450 delegates, including 48 foreign, have already registered for the three-day convention and more confirmations were still pouring in, Mr Sonowal said, adding that the total number would be close to 500.

The delegates include participants from key markets of Indian tea like Russia, Germany, the UK, Egypt and Pakistan, as well as other tea producing countries like Sri Lanka and Kenya, convener of the local steering committee of IITC 2007 Dheeraj Kakati informed.

The organizers attempts at bringing in Hollywood flavour in the form of screen diva Julie Christie, who was born in a tea estate in Assam, did not yield positive result.

Mr Sonowal said general tea testing sessions for all delegates, with an array of Indian teas on offer, will be a unique highlight of the event by being a first-of-its-kind programme. Besides, there would be the five main business sessions on Indian tea panorama, Assam tea, Showcasing Indian teas, Key markets for Indian teas, The great Indian tea bazaar and Global sourcing of tea, he added.

The inaugural session will be flagged off by Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Union Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh.

The valedictory session will be attended by Union Commerce Minister Kamal Nath, among others.


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