Agriculture World

Indian Government Pushes for Tobacco Exports to China

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo
tobacco

India has made a strong pitch for the export of high quality & organically-cultivated tobacco to neighboring China, which is home to 350 million smokers - worlds largest.

A delegation of Indian Tobacco Board (ITB) headed by its President, K Sunitha met with Chief Commissioner of State Tobacco Monopoly Administration (STMA), Zhang Jianmin last week and made out a case for Beijing to open its market for tobacco import from New Delhi, according to a press release issued by the Indian Embassy.

It said that K Sunitha gave a detailed presentation underlining the strengths of tobacco in India. She told Indian tobacco is of very good quality, cultivated organically and is pesticide residue free. The press release also said that India is the only country in the entire world where tobacco is cultivated in two seasons.

She mentioned that India because of its proximity can bring down the logistic costs in exporting tobacco to China.

India is also the third largest producer of tobacco with exports valued at Rs. 5000 crore to over 115 destinations that includes quality-conscious markets of Europe and Japan, it said.

Therefore, the country is well positioned to supply superior tobacco with consistency in cost, volume, quality & compliance, ITB Chairperson said. However, India’s exports to China have been insignificant, she added.

tobacco crop

Beijing produces 42% cigarettes worldwide. It is also the world’s largest producer as well as consumer of Tobacco.

What was China’s response?

Zhang said that Indian tobacco may not be presently suitable for the Chinese market, the STMA will be glad to work with the Indian Tobacco Board to further leverage complementarities in the background of growing mutual relations between China & India, the press release said.

The Tobacco Board presented that with the production processes matching international standards, India will be able to produce & provide tobacco varieties which suit China.

Zhang also said that he will appoint a government & industry delegation to India to further discover the opportunities.

Few months back, Beijing had extended protocol that remained inactive, on the export of Indian tobacco leaves during Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan’s visit to China in January.

The release said since then, the Indian Embassy here worked with the Chinese officials like STMA, Ministry of Commerce & other relevant organisations for promoting Indian tobacco.

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