Apple eyes India’s new incentive scheme to ramp up exports: Sources

By Sayujya S, Desk Reporter
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US-based multinational technology company Apple is looking to participate in a new scheme to boost India’s exports of computer products.

According to sources, as part of this plan, the iPhone maker aims to bring iPad tablet manufacturing to the South Asian country. India launched a $6.7 billion plan to boost smartphone exports last year, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi stepped up efforts to promote electronics manufacturing and create jobs.

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Apple, which has steadily raised production of iPhones in India to lessen its dependence on Chinese manufacturing, took part in that scheme via its contract manufacturers Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron.

New incentive drive

Now the government is preparing to unveil another incentive to drive local manufacturing of IT products including tablets, laptops and servers, says sources. The new performance-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, which offers cash-back to manufacturers for exports, will have a budget of up to $964.5 million over five years, the sources said. It’s expected to be launched by the end of February.

The country is also planning another PLI, at a budget of roughly $50 billion over five years, to boost domestic manufacturing of wearable devices such as smartwatches, the sources said. They added that the plan could be announced within two months.

Made in India

Apple assembles a major share of its iPads in China, but is fast diversifying production to markets such as India and Vietnam to minimize the impact of the US-China trade war and the coronavirus crisis. Its top supplier Taiwan’s Foxconn is building assembly lines for iPads and MacBook laptops in Vietnam.

Apple began the assembly of iPhones in India in 2017 and has since ramped up manufacturing operations via the local units of Foxconn and Wistron, the design manufacturer company. Pegatron also set up a base in India last year.

Foxconn will invest up to $1 billion to expand a factory in southern India where it assembles iPhones. The three Apple suppliers have also committed roughly $900 million over five years to make iPhones in India.

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