India's trade and commerce with Pakistan, particularly in tea has been adversely affected because of the Mumbai terror attack, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Jairam Ramesh has said.
Pakistan has been an attractive market for the Indian tea industry along with Afghanistan, Iran and Egypt, but due to the 26/11 incident trade in tea has been adversely affected, Ramesh told reporters emerging from a one-day seminar on tea here last night.
Chief Minister P K Dhumal was also present.
Ramesh said progress had been made in opening tea trade through the Wagah border, but the Mumbai terror attacks put the issue on hold.
He said his visit to Pakistan in January was also cancelled due to this reason.
Ramesh said he is keen that Indian tea found new markets in the face of intense competition from other tea-producing countries.
An international tea festival would be organised in Cochin from February 19 to expose the industry to world markets, he said adding besides new centres in Cairo (Egypt) and some other countries will be opened soon.
The MoS Commerce said that Indian exporters might face difficulties in the coming years due to policies of the US and European countries to pump in billions of dollars worth of aid to its ailing industries and banks.
They are taking measures to protect their industries from competition from developing countries like India, he said, adding the Davos meet had also discussed the issue.