ISIS activities in Middle East have affected Lankan tea industry: PM

4 November 2015 06:30 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Yohan Perera
The activities of ISIS in the Middle East had affected Sri Lanka’s tea industry, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe informed Parliament yesterday.

Prime Minister, who was responding to an oral question raised by opposition MP Dallas Alahapperuma, in the House said Sri Lanka has lost the markets in countries such as Syria and Iran while getting into Libyan market had also become difficult as the ISIS is active in that country as well.

He said Turkey could be a potential market but is risky because that country too might be affected by the conflict as well.

However, he said a negotiated settlement between Iran and the USA conflict may bring some advantages situation to Sri Lanka.

He blamed the authorities in the past for failing to enter into European market in the past. Had Sri Lanka secured markets in Europe for its tea, the crisis in the industry would not have been bad, he said.

He also said Sri Lanka will launch promotions for local tea in India and China in addition to Europe shortly.

He said a sum of Rs.1 billion has been already made available to the Tea Board to try and revive the industry.

Responding to Alahapperuma he said the situation is worse than the crisis the tea industry faced in 2008. Alahapperuma said the previous regime was able to revive the tea industry from a similar crisis in 2008.
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