Tea Board chairman P K Bezbaruah said here that India and China were not competitors as far as tea was concerned, but rather complemented each other. On both sides, the duties at present were extremely prohibitive which was restricting exports from both the directions and needed to be lowered, he said speaking for the preferential trade pact before a 22-member business delegation from Dali prefecture in China.
Eighty percent of China’s annual tea production is green tea and 18 percent Oolong variety, while 98 percent of the beverage produced in India annually is black tea. China’s annual production was 2600 million kilograms, while India’s was half of that, he said. India exports around seven to eight million kg of tea to China, while the latter’s exports of green tea to India was not significant.
About non-tariff barriers in both the sides, he said that there should be harmonisation of maximum residue limit for different pesticides by both the countries. Bezbaruah also advocated greater collaboration in research with Chinese universities. The Dali delegation was headed by Chen Jian, secretary of Committee of Communist Party of China (CPC) of the prefecture. The business delegates comprised areas of walnut, textile, tea, natural spring water, tourism, education and culture.