The Sri Lankan stand was dedicated to its most famous export: Ceylon Tea.

The country’s High Commissioner Sunil De Silva said: “This show is a wonderful opportunity to bring together people from across the world and explore business opportunities. It is a truly remarkable event.”

Sr Lanka has maintained a high commission in South Africa since 1994 and the countries have a long tradition of friendship, Mr De Silva said.

“Trade between the two nations is increasing as more and more companies see the opportunities which exist. This is why we are at SAITEX for the 11th year.

“Tea remains our number one export but rubber products are increasing as that is something we have as a natural resource.

Sri Lankan is celebrating 150 years of commercial tea production. Five per cent of all the world's tea is produced in the country and The Sri Lanka Tea Board, which is responsible for the development and promotion of 'Ceylon' Tea.

It promises quality alongside the traditional process saying, ‘The plucking of tea leaves is done manually, rather than using shears, to make certain that only the unopened leaf bud and two leaves are plucked.’

Pavithri Peiris, assistance director-promotion of the board says, ‘We believe, Africa's Big 7 is an important trade exhibition in the development of food and beverage and other industries in the African region.

‘Black tea is still accounting for the largest share in volume of tea sales in South Africa and tea remains the first choice in hot beverages for most consumers in South Africa.’

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