Russian Ripper

Russia continues to be one of Sri Lanka quote s top buyers, importing approximately 50 million kilos a year and also the biggest value added market.

A number of Russian companies had proposed to increase the tax by as much as 60 per cent.

The mover aims to support Russian companies manufacturing value added tea, which makes up 25 per cent of the market.

Meanwhile, the local industry has been discussing plans to diversify their markets, moving into non-traditional markets including Japan and Europe.

Earlier this year the Tea Board moved two of its tea promotions bureaus from Istanbul and Cairo to Poland and Singapore.

Tea Board officials say the EU and the Far East including Australia and New Zealand accounted for a small percentage of Sri Lankan tea exports and hence needed to be developed urgently.