The Sri Lankan tea industry had been awaiting this move by the US for a long time that could allow the two countries to carry out banking directly between them and reduce the delays in transferring payments for tea exports, Tea Exporters Association Chairman Rohan Fernando told TimesOnline on Monday.
He noted that in the wake of these developments the TEA Secretariat would be writing to the Sri Lanka Tea Board (SLTB) to call for a meeting of the state banks, the Treasury and the Central Bank to see how they could move forward with the sanctions lifted so that the banking system will get the directives of lifting of the sanctions.
Mr. Fernando explained that if handled properly the demand at the auctions should improve – the prices should increase because the exporters should have more money can buy more stocks.
Plantations Minister Navin Dissanayaka told TimesOnline said that with the sanctions on Iran lifted, Sri Lanka could now trade directly and the payment problem could be sorted out.
“It will also give (us) an edge in the market and gain about 4-5 per cent more (in the market),” he said. Sri Lanka is said to have obtained 44 per cent of the Iranian market for tea.
This year Sri Lanka is looking at achieving anm export target of at least 350 million kg, the minister said. (Sunimalee)