Tuesday, 15 October 2013 00:18
President Mahinda Rajapaksa is scheduled to attend the Tea Exporters Association (TEA) Annual General Meeting today at the Hilton Colombo from 7 p.m. onwards.
Minister of Plantation Industries Mahinda Samarasinghe will be the Guest of Honour at the TEA’s 14th AGM.
The days’ proceedings will include the current Chairman of TEA Rohan Fernando presenting to President Rajapaksa the status of the tea export industry and the TEA’s plans to support the Government’s efforts to increase exports toward the goal of US$ 20 billion by 2020 with a tea contribution of US$3-5 billion by that time. The official website of the TEA will also be launched by the President during the AGM.
Commenting on the AGM and its agenda, the immediate past Chairman and the current Secretary General Niraj de Mel said: “This AGM will showcase the value addition brought in by the tea export sector of the country which amounts to approx US$ 500 million of the total annual foreign exchange earnings of US$ 1.412 billion. It will also serve to apprise to the policy makers the huge investments that have been made by the membership in infrastructure development locally and in promoting the brand overseas, in a bid to invite all the stakeholders to support the industry to transform into the next level of growth and progress as the tea nation of the world.”
The Tea Exporters Association or TEA, the prime body which brings all the tea exporting companies together, plays a vital role in taking Ceylon Tea to the world. The TEA was established in 1991 by a group of leading tea exporters with a view of looking after the interests of one of the main stakeholders of the tea industry – the exporters.
However, the association really took off in 1999 when a group of key exporters understood the tremendous potential of the tea export sector and decided to give the stakeholders a ‘voice’ among policy makers. Since then the TEA has grown from strength to strength. Today, the Tea Exporters’ Association comprises of 53 companies accounting for approximately 87% of Sri Lanka’s tea export volumes and revenue.