Apple’s senior officials are reported to have met the Nirmala Sitharaman, Commerce Minister, Government of India, on Tuesday just before the meeting with the inter-ministerial team, which will be held today. The team will look into company’s demand for setting up a manufacturing unit in India.
The meeting with the Commerce Minister lasted for 40 minutes where Apple’s Global Vice President Priya Balasubramaniam along with two other officials discussed the proposal. The senior executives from Apple will today meet government officials of different departments including the ministry of electronics and IT, environment and forests discuss various incentives to set up a manufacturing unit in India.
Apple has asked for various concessions including a 15-year custom holiday on iPhone kits imports and other tax incentives to enter the manufacturing sector in India. The company is already reported to have selected the first Indian-based supplier for this year iPhones in India. Wistron is reported to be the primary supplier in India for manufacturing of new iPhones. The report further adds that Foxconn and other makers will act as secondary OEMs only if demand increases.
Earlier, the company sought permission to open fully-owned retail stores in India after the change in FDI rules. To recall, the government toned down its FDI rules back in June previous year and allowed 100% FDI in single-brand retail trading in the country. The government gave a three-year exemption from local sourcing with an extension of up to five years if it’s proven that the products of ‘state-of-the- art’ and ‘cutting-edge’ technology. The company has asked for an exemption from the local sourcing as it is bringing ‘cutting-edge’ technology to the country, which was turned down by the finance ministry.
For Apple, India is one of the major markets as its iPhone sales went up 51 percent year-on-year, at a time when its global sales went down. In May last year, Tim Cook visited India and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi where he discussed issues including manufacturing and setting up retail stores in the country.