The tea export sector has welcomed the decision by the United States to lift sanctions on Iran which will benefit Sri Lanka.
"The lifting of US sanctions against Iran will benefit Sri Lanka in two ways. One way is that oil prices will come down by 30 percent in the next few months and Sri Lankan tea exports will increase because Iran is the fourth largest buyer, Policy Planning and Economic Affairs, Deputy Minister Dr Harsha de Silva said.
"This will help Sri Lanka industrial sector to boom. While other one is our exports to Iran will increase as at now our tea is stuck due to this move," he told the Daily News business yesterday.
He said that with the lifting of the trade embargo against Iran will also have a positive impact towards Sri Lanka's oil export bill, which amounts to US $ 5 billion. This will enable to increase our economic activities from medium to long term perspective, Dr de Silva said.
Direct exports to Iran will mean a better deal for our producers.This is very welcome, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake told the media.
"Our tea industry has been going through a very difficult patch last year.
Opening up of the Iran market will be a big boost," he said.
Before the restrictions on banking put the squeeze on exports, Iran was the largest overseas market for Sri Lanka's trademark Ceylon brew, he said.
And even after those restrictions began being rolled out in 2008, more than 30 million kilos (66 million pounds) of Sri Lankan tea were sold to Iran,he added.
Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer Mangala Yapa said that with the lifting of US sanctions against Iran will help to export our tea to Iran without any hindrances.
Iran is one of the major buyers of Ceylon tea.As at now our tea is stuck in the country due to this trade embargo as we cannot access the huge Iran market, he said.
Export Development Board (EDB) Chairman Bandula Egodage said with the
relaxing of US sanctions against Iran,the purchasing power of Iran will go up and this will have a major positive impact towards Sri Lanka tea exports
Lanka Commodities Brokers Limited Director Jehan Algama told the Daily News business Sri Lanka accounts 65 percent of low grown tea production in the world and lifting of US sanctions against Iran will help the local tea exports because Iran is one of the top buyers of Sri Lankan tea.
Algama also said that Iran being the fourth largest oil exporter oil prices will further go down. This will further boost Sri Lanka tea exports to Iran, he said.
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