Sri Lanka tea meets SFDA specifications

From left: Nishanta Jayatilake, Dr. Sarath Abeysinghe and Hasitha De Alwis at the press briefing in Riyadh on Wednesday.
Updated 23 July 2016
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Sri Lanka tea meets SFDA specifications

RIYADH: Sri Lankan tea fulfils the specifications of the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA), a visiting island official, who was leading a delegation to the capital, said here on Wednesday.
Addressing a press conference, Hasitha De Alwis, director of international promotions at the Sri Lanka Tea Board, told media that the SFDA told the visiting delegation that Sri Lankan tea is of high quality and it meets the specifications of both the SFDA and the Gulf Standards Organization.
The delegation met with the senior officials of the SFDA here on Tuesday. He said that the Kingdom imports some 36,000 metric tons of tea, which includes 5,000 tons from Sri Lanka. The major share of the Kingdom’s tea requirements are supplied by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) through its Jebel Ali Free Zone, he added. The other members of the delegation included Nishanta Jayatilake, Sri Lanka Tea Board director for analytical services, and Dr. Sarath Abeysinghe, director of the Tea Research Institute in Colombo.
Sri Lanka’s major tea market includes Russia, Iran, Iraq, Turkey and now China is an emerging market, he noted.
Sri Lankan tea, known for generations as Ceylon Tea, carries behind it a heritage and success story like no other. A product that began as a diversification experiment in 1867, spanning just 19 acres of land, has today surpassed all geographical borders to satisfy 19 percent of global demand. Reputed for its tea’s signature taste and aroma, Sri Lanka has become the world’s third largest tea exporter to the world, the country’s largest employer, and has the distinction of supplying tea to the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.
Ceylon Tea is also the cleanest tea in the world in terms of pesticide residues, a fact confirmed by the ISO technical committee. Sri Lanka was also the first to achieve the “Ozone Friendly Tea” label recognized under the Montreal Protocol Treaty and is the proud owner of the first Ethical Tea Brand of the World recognized by the United Nations Global Compact.
Far from being just a scenic wonder, the panoramic tea gardens of Sri Lanka provide a countless number of blends and single garden teas of premium value. Most are situated at elevations between 3,000 and 8,000 feet, which span the lush mountains of the central highlands and the fertile plains of the southern inland areas of the island. Sri Lankan tea possesses unique and specific characteristics of quality and taste attributed to geographical origin and unique manufacturing practices.
Tourists and export markets alike have access to famous unorthodox variants and health beverages from Sri Lanka such as green tea, instant tea, bio tea and flavored tea.
With the development of Sri Lankan tea exports, Green Tea has acquired a commanding position in the global market. Currently, Sri Lanka exports Green Tea to more than 40 countries. The major buyers are United Arab Emirates, the Russian Federation and Jordan.


Saudi Arabia witnesses unprecedented achievements one year after MBS became crown prince

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has become the government’s face of reform, modernization and change. (SPA)
Updated 22 June 2018
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Saudi Arabia witnesses unprecedented achievements one year after MBS became crown prince

  • Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is the architect of a wide-ranging plan for social and economic reforms known as Saudi Vision 2030
  • Vision 2030 seeks to make Saudi Arabia non-oil based economy and the large developments at the Red Sea, Qiddiya and, NEOM, are part of the efforts to lure in investors and promote tourism sector.

JEDDAH: June 21 marked one year of Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince of Saudi Arabia.Since assuming the role, the crown prince, fondly known as MBS, has been working for the socioeconomic transformation of the Kingdom.
He is the architect of a wide-ranging plan for social and economic reforms known as Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to diversify the economy of the Kingdom and reduce its dependence on oil income.
Among the reforms envisaged in the Vision 2030 plan are the reopening of cinemas and allowing both sexes to attend concerts.
Another major development is the lifting of a ban on women driving. From June 24, women in Saudi Arabia will be able to take the wheel. The crown prince’s Vision 2030 reform plan seeks to elevate women to nearly one-third of the workforce, up from the current 22 percent.
In a statement issued to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, said that as the architect of Saudi Vision 2030, the crown prince was inspiring the country’s youth and introducing structural changes to the Saudi economy and society.
Al-Othaimeen said that in one year he had taken many important initiatives at the national and international level and reinforced Saudi Arabia’s leading role in defending and supporting issues related to the wider Muslim world.
In this area, the OIC chief said, the most notable achievement was the creation of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition.
Vision 2030 seeks to boost the Saudi non-oil based economy, and the large developments at the Red Sea, Qiddiya and NEOM, the futuristic mega city, are part of efforts to attract investors and promote the Kingdom’s tourism sector.
Saudi Minister of Telecommunications and IT Abdullah bin Amer Al-Sawaha said that the Kingdom is geared up to achieve the goals of socioeconomic transformation as envisaged in Vision 2030. He said that during the last year Saudi Arabia had achieved great success in this ambition.
Civil Services Minister Sulaiman bin Abdullah Al-Hamdan said that last year was characterized by many achievements. The Kingdom, he said, witnessed the continuation of the successful implementation of the crown prince’s Vision 2030, which covers all aspects of life.
Saudi Education Minister Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Issa said: “Our country is looking forward to a bright future in line with an ambitious vision. It is standing at the threshold of great transformation.”
Saudi Arabia has also witnessed several unprecedented developments since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman began implementing his reform plans. In a bid to ensure transparency in the financial system to promote international investments, the Kingdom launched a drive to root out corruption from society without discrimination.
Saudi Justice Minister Dr. Waleed bin Mohammed Al-Samaani, who is also president of the Supreme Judicial Council, said that the crown prince is a leader whose impact has surpassed local and regional levels. He has emerged as one of the most influential figures at the global level, he said.
Islamic Affairs Minister Dr. Abdulatif bin Abdul Aziz Al-Ashiekh said: “The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 is a comprehensive national development program that seeks to achieve prosperity for the country. The crown prince has worked very hard to achieve many goals in record time.
“The Ministry of Islamic Affairs has received a great deal of support and attention from the crown prince to help fight extremist and deviant ideologies.”
The minister said that these efforts come within the framework of Vision 2030 to eradicate all sources of corruption.
MBS’s history of philanthropic initiatives has earned him many awards. In 2011, he established the Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Foundation (Misk), which enables young Saudis to learn, develop and progress in the fields of business, literature, culture, science and technology, and sociology.
“The crown prince’s initiatives in relief and humanitarian work have been admired and praised by the UN and its related organizations,” said Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief) and an adviser to the royal court.
Al-Rabeeah said that the crown prince had allocated $66.7 million to fight the cholera epidemic in Yemen, in addition to his efforts to help the needy throughout the world without discrimination.
He said that the crown prince had worked hard to build a new phase of progress and prosperity for the country with the help of the youth who are the core of the Kingdom’s future.
In recent years, the crown prince has become the government’s face of reform, modernization and change. In a country where about 60 percent of the population is under 30, the young crown prince is widely seen as an icon in the push toward socioeconomic reforms.
The crown prince also heads the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, which aims to establish a seamless mechanism to achieve Vision 2030 goals.