Sri Lankan tea exports to Russia are likely to see some respite with the Sri Lankan and Russian officials agreeing to work out a plan to break the impasses that have been dogging trade between the two nations of late.
Lankan value-added tea exports to Russia have been slapped with taxes on their gross weight instead of the net weight. Value-added tea generally reaches Russia in ceramic or wooden containers. During a three-day bilateral trade session in Colombo, the Sri Lankan side led by Industry and Commerce Ministry Secretary D.N. R.Asoka continuously pressed for the reduction of import duty by Moscow for Lankan tea exports.
The trade negotiations were held under the Russia-Sri Lanka Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation at Cinnamon Grand Hotel, Colombo.
The total trade between the two countries in 2016 was US $ 363 million, a decline of 17 percent over 2015. During the first eight months of 2017 however, trade rose 5.6 percent to US$ 247.2 million in comparison with the US$ 234 million in the same period in 2016.
Tea consists of nearly 80 percent of Lankan exports to Russia. Last year Sri Lanka exported US $ 143 million worth of teas to Russia.