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The Indian Ocean Tea Trade - Research Paper Example

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This paper explores the global tea trade in the Indian Ocean. It includes a sweep of the historical background of the tea trade. The paper details future prospects for the tea trade and tea industry in the Indian Ocean, basing the discussion on the relevant literature…
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The Indian Ocean Tea Trade
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The Indian Ocean Tea Trade

Download file to see previous pages... The trading ecosystem that thrives in the Indian Ocean does so because of the strategic location of the Indian Ocean, whose size makes it comprises about 20 percent of the total ocean surface of the earth, and whose location makes it ideal for all kinds of business activities, spanning Iran, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India to the north, Indonesia, Australia and the Malaysian Peninsula to the east, the Arabian Peninsula and Africa to the west, and Antarctica to the South. In the southwestern portion of the Indian Ocean, the body of water shares its boundaries with the Atlantic Ocean. Here it meets the southern end of the African Continent. The Indian Ocean also joins the Pacific Ocean meanwhile on its southeastern portion (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2013). The Indian Ocean had been a traditional center of trade even in ancient times, extending as far back as the slave trade, where the trade in slaves in those earlier times coincided with mass migrations of peoples across the three continents of Africa, Europe, and Asia. In modern contexts, trade in the Indian Ocean has evolved to be concentrated on a few key commodities, including oil, which is the biggest item of trade in the Indian Ocean, as well as tea, rubber, coal and iron, with seafood being a relatively minor object of trade among key states along the Ocean and in the key destinations of Europe and Asia. Tourism has also grown to be a key aspect of trade in the Indian Ocean. This paper focuses on the trade in tea. (The Economist, 2013; Boston University, 2013; Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2013b; Hatcher, 2013; Asia Society 2013; UNESCO, 2013). II. Industry Background- Tea Trade in the Indian Ocean The literature tells us that the history of general trade in the Indian Ocean has ancient roots, extending to the early migrations of peoples along the bordering continents, and involving not just the trade in goods but also in slaves. Slaves are an important aspect of the ancient trade in the Indian Ocean, extending to the time of the European wave of colonization from the 16th century onwards. That trade would come to focus on a few key commodities in more present contexts, as discussed in the Introduction, and tea is one of those key commodities. There is meanwhile a deep historical basis to the trade in tea in the Indian Ocean itself, which is the subject of this section. (The Economist, 2013; Boston University, 2013; Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2013b; Hatcher, 2013; Asia Society 2013; UNESCO, 2013). When one talks of the modern tea trade one goes back to the roots of tea production and consumption in this part of the world, and here the references to the consumption of tea in Europe extend all the way back to the 16th century, with the consumption being attributed first to Portuguese traders and adventurers to the sea, with the tea being originated in the East, in China in particular, and finding their way via the ancient Indian Ocean trade routes to select members of the trading classes in Europe. That said, the formal attribution to tea being used as a key item of trade was given to the Dutch, who by the waning years of the 16th century had all but usurped the Portuguese role in being the facilitators of trade and the primary proponents of the routes of trade from Europe to the Far East and vice versa. The establishment of a Dutch trading post in Java in 1606 paved the way for the initiation of the trade of tea between Holland and the Chinese.   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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