Sri Lanka – South Africa ready to consider reducing tea tariffs

(MENAFN – Colombo Gazette) another Africa is ready to consider reducing tea tariffs for a fixed period of time, rather than extending it by three years.

Addressing concerns about access to the Sri Lankan tea market, outgoing South African High Commissioner to Colombo Robina P. Marks said South Africa would consider lowering tea tariffs to provide some relief to Sri Lanka.

The foreign ministry said Marx said the measure would be taken in a spirit of supporting developing countries to become as sustainable as they can.

She further stressed the need to recalibrate its trade strategy in Sri Lanka and the desire for more balanced trade relations between the two countries.

‘While the national interest is important for all countries, we want more balanced trade between Sri Lanka and South Africa. We think this is important because we both need to work on the basis that everyone has something to offer in this bilateral relationship, ‘she added, commenting on bilateral trade ties in the COVID-19 era.

The foreign ministry said South Africa had managed to expand its trade footprint in Sri Lanka and that overall trade had greatly favored its country. South Africa is Sri Lanka’s largest source of imports and the second largest export destination in the African region. Imports from South Africa mainly consist of coal, and exports from Sri Lanka consist of bulk teas, clothing and rubber products.

In terms of investment, High Commissioner Marks said international retail brand SPAR, through a joint venture between SPAR Group Ltd South Africa and Ceylon Biscuits Limited, has opened four outlets in Sri Lanka with plans to expand to 20 retail stores.

High Commissioner Marx also exchanged views with representatives of the Sri Lankan business community on the possibility of strengthening fish exports to South Africa, adding value and exchanging knowledge in the jewelery and jewelery industry, opportunities in the renewable energy sector and sharing expertise in preserving food in the canning industry. (Colombo Gazette)

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