Delegations of tea planters from the state recently back from Egypt and Israel have stated that Egypt has huge potential for the export of Assam tea. Egypt is presently importing its maximum tea from Kenya, which incidentally is the world’s largest tea producer.
Of the 75 million kilogram which the total market area of tea in Egypt, 90 percent is supplied by Kenya and Indian tea including Assam tea supplies about 2.7 million kilograms (2006) of tea.
The political unrest in Kenya may become beneficial to Assam if it takes advantage of the political crisis and presents itself as a stable and trustworthy tea importer.
Bidyananda Barkakoty, vice chairman, North Eastern Tea Association stated that Assam’s CTC tea has a good market in Egypt as the importers there are aware of the qualities of Assam tea.
He also stated that the duty reduction from 30 percent to 2 percent is another favorable factor for promoting Assam tea. However, Israel on the other hand is not a substantial tea consumer moreover the people are not very aware of Assam tea there.
The Geographical Indication (GI) registration of Assam tea would also prove beneficial to the tea export from Assam. Assam produces about 90 percent of CTC tea and the production of orthodox tea which has a huge demand in European countries, is a mere 7 percent.