Sri Lanka to ban re-export of tea, areca nuts, pepper: President

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will ban the re-export of areca nuts (betel nut) and tea, President Maithripala Sirisena has said, as the country aspires to become a logistics hub with entrepot trade and build global supply chains.

The importation and re-export of pepper amid low global prices has led to a "collapse" of the industry, President Sirisena had claimed at an election rally in Badulla.

The import and re-export had hurt Sri Lanka’s image of Ceylon Tea, President Sirisena, who heads Sri Lanka Freedom Party.

Though economic management has been entrusted to the United National Party, when ordinary people are affected, a National Economic Committee, appointed by him will look into such issues, President Sirisena had said.

Sri Lanka has failed to join global supply chains or become a large player in the rapidly growing processed food sector, due to import protection on raw materials.

Attempts by major exporters to made Sri Lanka the lynchin of a global supply chain in tea has also failed due to the opposition of a players who have managed to convince tea farmers that it will hurt prices.

However some types of tea is allowed in for re-export.

Some Sri Lanka based firms have built customers relationships with buyers and brands abroad to supply them with processed or semi processed food. The business can go to other suppliers in times of drought.

The Minister of Plantations Industries Navin Dissanayake has taken a far reaching decision to allow the import of coconut kernels to produce items like desiccated coconut and also bristle fibre to make brushes and other cleaning products.

A country can also add value to products without much processing by supplying goods fast and in smaller quantities using logistics advantages, or simply by sifting through different suppliers to fit exact price/quality requirements of a buyer. (Colombo/Jan29/2018).





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