Bangladesh is an important tea producing country. Its tea industry dates back to British rule, when the East India Company initiated the tea trade in Chittagong in 1840. Today, the country has 172 commercial tea estates, including many of the world"s largest working plantations. The industry accounts for 3% of global tea production and employs more than 0.4 million people. Tea is grown in the northern and eastern districts of the country. The highlands, temperate climate, humidity and heavy rainfall in these districts provide a favorable ground for the production of high-quality tea. Tea is the second largest export oriented cash crop of Bangladesh following jute. The industry accounts for 1% of Gross Domestic Product of the country. Tea-producing districts include Sylhet, Maulvi Bazar, Habiganj, Brahmanbaria, Rangamati, Chittagong and Panchagarh. This sector is dominated by Bangladeshi conglomerates, including M. M. Ispahani Limited, Kazi & Kazi, the Transcom Group, James Finlay Bangladesh, the Orion Group, the Abul Khair Group and Duncan Brothers Bangladesh Limited. The price of Bangladesh tea is determined at the public auction in Chittagong. In March 2015, the international price of Bangladesh tea was US$2.40.