India Tea Industry Concerned About ASEAN Trade Agreement
- World Tea News 网站
- India’s domestic tea industry is sheltered from foreign competition by tariffs as high as 110 percent.Tariffs on many goods including coffee, tea, palm oil, and pepper, negotiated a decade ago by the 10 member-nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) security and trade block, are soon to take effect. This group of nations, whose combined economies are valued at $2.7 trillion, are working with six non-affiliated trade partners, including India. The new free trade agreement seeks to reduce import tariffs on agricultural goods by 50 percent by 2019. India is negotiating a separate agreement with Sri Lanka.India tea planters fear that going forward with the agreement would flood the Indian market with cheap tea from ASEAN countries, making Indian tea no longer competitive due to its relatively high cost of production. The treaty, however, would also open foreign markets that protect their own domestic tea industries. This could be of benefit to larger plantations already engaged in foreign trade. Smallholders do not export appreciable quantities of tea.