Ravi Shankar Prasad asks Apple, Samsung to help us become e-export hub

He said his ministry and NITI Aayog would in the next two to three months work with them on incentives for the sector

Ravi Shankar Prasad
Ravi Shankar Prasad

IPhone maker Apple and South Korean electronics giant Samsung should work with Indian companies to ensure this country becomes a hub of export for electronics, said Ravi Shankar Prasad, minister for this sector and for information technology. 

He suggested Apple expand its manufacturing base in India and use the country as an export hub. 

At a long meeting with top executives from the industry, Prasad heard them on various issues and said his ministry and NITI Aayog would in the next two to three months work with them on incentives for the sector. 

"Apple has started manufacturing phones in India, including components and...have started making iPhones for export...But, this is just the tip of the iceberg. I want a robust presence of Apple in India, a super-robust presence of Samsung in India, and other global companies," he said.

According to Apple, eight of its global suppliers have set up units in India. These being Sunwoda Electronic, Winstron Corporation, CCL Design (Suzhou) Co, Flex, Foxconn, Salcomp and Shenzhen YUTO Packaging Technology. Currently, Apple manufactures iPhones 6S and 7 from India. 

Among companies represented at the meeting were Vivo, Oppo, Qualcomm, Xiaomi, Dell, HP, Bosch, Cisco, Flextronics, Foxconn, Nokia, LG, Panasonic, Intel, Wistron and Sterlite Technologies. The electronics industry body, Manufacturers Association of Information Technology was also present. It recommended  production-linked export incentives, leveraging India’s geo-political influence and free trade agreement influence with countries to accept Indian standards as sufficient to access other markets. Also, identification of sub-sectors where India should lead the development of standards, such as 5G, medical electronics, cyber security and data communications.

The National Policy on Electronics, approved by the Union cabinet in February, asks for provision of an "attractive package of incentives for promoting export of electronics goods, thereby empowering the exporters by facilitating global market access".

The policy aims to achieve annual turnover of $400 billion by 2025 and to generate 10 million additional jobs. The government has said earlier that manufacturing of mobile handsets would be a focus area, with a target of a billion a year by 2025, valued at $190 bn, including 600 mn handsets for export.

The government also plans to boost component production, to curb growing import from Asian countries such as China, Vietnam and Taiwan. A Phased Manufacturing Programme (PMP) had been introduced in 2016-17.