Sri Lankan tea (known for generations as Ceylon Tea) carries behind it a heritage and success story like no other. The story of Ceylon tea begins over two hundred years ago, when the country was still a British colony. In 1824 a tea plant was brought to Ceylon by the British from China and was planted in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya for non-commercial purposes. Further experimental planting of tea had begun in 1839 with tea plants brought from Assam and Calcutta through the East India Company.
Commercial cultivation of tea commenced in Sri Lanka by the Scotsman, James Taylor. He arrived Sri Lanka in 1852 and settled down in Loolecondera estate in Kandy. Taylor visited India in 1866 to learn the basics of growing tea on plantations. Following his return, he started a 19 acre tea plantation in Loolecondera estate in 1867. Soon enough plantations surrounding Loolecondera such as Hope, Rookwood and Mooloya began transforming into tea plantations and were amongst the first tea estates established on the island. Taylor started a fully equipped tea factory in Loolecondera estate in 1872. In 1875 Taylor managed to send the first shipment of Ceylon tea to London tea auction.
As bilateral trade topped $ 3Bn, Sri Lanka’s exports sector is readying one of the strongest ever delegations to this year’s Kunming international expo while Lanka’s second largest global supplier voiced that it is increasingly upbeat on the prospective FTA between both countries-and the $ 190 Bn Yunnan province is keen for a Corporate Agreement with Lanka’s apex export entity, a first, as revealed on 13 January.
Sri Lanka will participate in Japan’s largest international jewellery trade show this month. This event is known as “ IJT international jewellery trade show.”
A wide variety of products in the jewellery industry gathers under one roof, at the world trend-setting city, Tokyo. Sri Lanka could increase the US$ one billion overall export target in 2016, if the local gem/precious stone exports were encouraged and developed targeting international markets. Therefore, participating for international trade shows should help to capture news markets, Director Marketing and Export -National Gem and Jewellery Authority, Rohan Perera said.
The Government has taken steps to uplift the Cinnamon production in Sri Lanka to target international market. Cinnamon, indigenous to Sri Lanka is the pride among world's spices. Sri Lanka is the world's largest cinnamon producer and accounts for about 70 per cent of the global production, while cinnamon exports from Seychelles have steadily increased. However, cassia a cinnamon like spice obtained from the bark of a plant related to cinnamon is widely traded as a relatively cheap substitute for cinnamon.
Sri Lanka exports curtaining, table linen, bed linen, kitchen linen, upholstery and dress fabric and other products to foreign markets. The products in demand in the local market are curtaining, table linen, bed linen furnishing, cushion covers, sarongs and sarees. Currently, cotton and silk yarn is imported from India and Korea, monthly. Around 900 private handloom producers inclusive of small, medium and large-scale are operating in the country.