Indian tea exporters on Thursday took their first step to enter the huge Chinese market by offering the world famous Darjeeling tea and other high-quality varieties for which they hope to secure a 'niche' market in the world's most populous nation.
"This is our first attempt to showcase Indian tea to the Chinese people and the industry. We are confident of making our presence felt in the Chinese market," executive director of Tea Board, Chandrajit Saikia, said.
The Tea Board has roped in a number of leading Indian tea exporters and planters for the 'China Tea Expo 2004', which commenced in Beijing on Thursday. They will make sustained efforts to promote Indian tea in China where people mainly drink green tea and are not exposed to black tea.
India has to undertake a lot of work to promote Indian tea varieties among the Chinese people, Saikia said. Mohan K Chirimar, managing director of Raghunath Exports, which ventured into China for the first time felt his company could do business by introducing the finest Darjeeling tea.
"With a booming Chinese economy and changing lifestyles, there will be demand for black tea in future. We hope to bring Indian tea into China," he said. At the same time, Chirimar pointed out that it would be very difficult for Indian tea exporters to sell in China where local manufacturers have nearly perfected in introducing a variety of green tea.