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TATA Tea has inked a joint venture agreement with China’s Zhejiang Tea Import & Export Co (ZTIE) for setting up a company in the economic development zone of Anji county in Zhejiang for manufacturing and marketing green tea polyphenols, other green tea extracts, cold and hot water soluble instant teas, liquid tea concentrates and other value added tea beverage products. The formation of a Chinese JV comes within a fortnight of Tata Tea’s acquisition of two Polish brands — Flosana and Vitax.

In a media statement, Tata Tea has indicated "it will own 70% of the registered capital of the JV company”. The project will come at an initial investment of $16 million (Rs 70 crore) to be funded through a mix of equity and borrowings. Present at the signing ceremony were Mr. Percy T Siganporia, managing director of Tata Tea, senior officials from Tata Tea, ZTIE chairman Shi Jian Qiang, and top officials of the Chinese tea processing company.
Commenting on the Chinese alliance, Mr. Siganporia said: "This project is of great strategic importance for the Tata group in reaching out to the Chinese and Far East markets. I wish to take this opportunity to thank senior government officials and the management of Zhejiang Tea Import & Export Co for their cooperation.”

Significantly, Tata Tea will be able to use ZTIE’s huge network in these countries. Established in 1950, ZTIE is one of the largest specialised companies engaged in tea processing and trading in China. It is into the trading of green teas, black teas and speciality teas. It has developed its own tea brands — Camel and Shifeng.

Since 1981, the Chinese company has been directly exporting various kinds of tea and set up business relations with clients in over 60 countries throughout Asia, North America, Europe and Oceania.

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