Joint research on State tea mooted
GUWAHATI, July 14 – To improve the quality of Assam tea, the Consul General of US to India, Beth A Payne has underscored the need for carrying out a joint research by engaging the experts of both the US and the State.
Talking to a group of reporters at a programme initiated by the American Chamber of Commerce in India-Kolkata Chapter here today, Payne said that tea is becoming a very popular drink in America and therefore Assam tea producers can explore the US market.
To carry this forward, she asked the State tea traders to promote green tea. “Both the scientists of America and Assam can start a joint research, especially on green tea, that will immensely benefit the tea industry to a large extent,” the Consul General observed.
She also appealed to the State Government to promote tea tourism in order to woo American tourists.
There is a growing resurgence of demand for green tea in the United States, driven by a greater awareness of the health benefits and quality of leaf tea. To meet the demand, leading tea companies from China and Sri Lanka are now eyeing the US market by their quality products.
According to a study, the tea market in the US is likely to reach $10 billion during the current year. But, India’s share in the US tea market is still poor.
On future prospects of investment in the Northeast, Payne pointed out that this region has emerged as a potential market for US companies. “We are keen on investing in the small hydel power, infrastructure and of course in tourism sectors, but to push forward our plans, the security issues need be addressed. Investors always want a congenial atmosphere while pumping money in the market,” she added.
Payne, however, admitted that the law-and-order situation in Assam has been improving gradually.
Hailing the ‘Look East Policy’ of the Indian Government, the Consul General advocated reopening of the Stilwell Road. “If the road is opened, the trade between the Northeast and South East Asian Nations would increase manifold. “We are also in favour of a road connectivity between Tripura and Chittagong of Bangladesh. In fact we are closely watching the development between India and Bangladesh,” she added.
Ambarish Dasgupta, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in India -Kolkata Chapter (AMCHAM), who was also present in the conference, revealed that the AMCHAM would identify the areas in the region to bring in American investments. “It ( North East India) is now emerging as a major market in the country and hence we will try to harness its potential,” he added.
AMCHAM Kolkata is one of the six regional chapters working closely with the national body on policies and on independent need-based programmes. The chapter was launched in 2006, and its main objective is to provide a forum for two-way business related advocacy between Eastern India and the US.
The 12-member team of AMCHAM had arrived in the city yesterday to study the potential for investment in the Northeast.
Source: The Assam Tribune