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Unlike China or Vietnam, India may offer early sops for Apple, Samsung, Dell to make big gadgets in India

technology | Sept 29, 2022 12:32 PM IST

Unlike China or Vietnam, India may offer early sops for Apple, Samsung, Dell to make big gadgets in India

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India is trying to get global manufacturers like Apple and Samsung to make their products in India and, at the same time, push for input procurement within the country. 

India may be planning another round of incentives to woo companies like Apple, Samsung, and Dell to start manufacturing tablets and laptops in the country. However, there is a key difference between how India is pacing its policy versus how countries like China or Vietnam – both are some of the world’s biggest exporters of electronics – have in the past. 

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India already has a production-linked incentive in place for tech companies. Now, a report from Bloomberg says that the Indian government may be planning to offer an additional Rs 4,500 crore (about $550 million) per manufacturer.
It would depend on local procurement of components and could go as high as the equivalent of about 6 percent of the sales of finished products, the report said. 
The proposal, which is still due for consultation with the industry, may require foreign companies to invest Rs 700 crore in India over five years, over and above the money already invested till March 2021.
India’s aspiration to be a significant player in electronics manufacturing – an estimated size of $300 billion by 2026, of which $120 billion will be exported – is hamstrung by many challenges.
The lack of adequate infrastructure, domestic supply chain and logistics, high cost of finance, inadequate availability of quality power, limited design capabilities, not enough skilled workers, and enough money spent on R&D are the challenges listed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology
To develop the necessary environment and resources to boost the manufacturing of laptops, tablets, all-in-one personal computers and servers in India, the government launched an incentive of 4 percent to 2 percent/1 percent on net incremental sales (over the base year) of goods manufactured in India and covered under the target segment, to eligible companies, for four years. 
However, much of the electronics manufacturing would still depend on imported inputs. 
A recent study by Indian Council for Research on International Relations (ICRIER) showed that India “is pursuing two inter-related goals simultaneously.” First, to get global manufacturers like Apple and Samsung to make their products in India and, at the same time, push for input procurement within India. 
This is a key difference between the strategy followed by countries like China and Vietnam. “In the short-run, they have adopted policies that encourage companies to achieve global scale, even if it means using fewer local contents,” the ICRIER report released in June said, along with a recommendation to “first globalise, then localise”.
In 2008, Vietnam eliminated the need to procure local inputs, inducing Samsung to make its first investment. The study found that it took Samsung 10 years to increase the involvement of domestic manufacturers in Vietnam in sourcing inputs. In the meantime, Vietnam has become the world’s seventh largest exporter of electronics products. 
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