Business / Industries

Dubai records spiral growth in tea trade driven by China stimulus

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-04-07 10:51

DUBAI - Sanjeev Dutta, Director of Dubai's Tea Center in the emirates' industrial free zone, Dubai Multi Commodities Center (DMCC), said Wednesday that the center's total tea trade volumes in 2015 reached 41 million kilograms, a 208 percent increase over 2013.

Speaking at the sixth edition of the 2016 two-day biennial Global Tea Forum running till Thursday, Dutta said Dubai became the largest tea reexport market in the world.

The DMCC Tea Center Director added that the center developed further in 2015 when Tenfu, China's largest tea trading firm which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, entered into a partnership with the Dubai-based Rise General Trading, forming the "Tea Trading International" joint venture.

Dutta told Xinhua that "China's participation in tea trading is gradual yet growing, thanks to Tenfu. We would like to attract more Chinese tea trading firms, the world's largest tea producer."

The DMCC Tea Center's major advantage is that "Dubai is geographically located in the center of the Middle East, between Central Asia and Africa, three regions with a high tea consumption rate."

This led Manuja Peiris, Chief Executive and Statistics Expert of London's International Tea Committee to state that China's future role in exporting green tea to Middle East is promising. "As, according to our observations, a growing number of consumers in the region consume green tea for health reasons, whereas Arabs traditionally prefer black tea."

According to the Dubai-based private equity firm, Al Masah Capital, the food and beverage sector will get an additional boost from the 2020 World Expo which the emirate will host for the first time.

The six-month global exhibit will provide innovation and palates from all over the world to Dubai.

The DMCC Tea Center Director also added that he banks on innovation to continue to lure all types of tea to Dubai.

"Global trade is vital to the DMCC Tea Center's growth and development which is why cultivating best practices and introducing digital innovation to increase efficiency is high on this year's agenda as we prepare for growth and delivering our expansion plans."

With over 12,000 registered firms, the DMCC is the biggest free zone in Dubai, guaranteeing a 50 year tax holiday and 100 percent capital and profit repatriation.

In addition to China, Dubai's Tea Center also imports tea from 12 other countries including Kenya, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malawai, Rwanda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Vietnam, Japan and Uganda.

The DMCC Tea Center recently launched a two-year expansion plan including new facilities, spanning an area of 24,000 square meters.

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