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Indian Smartphone Makers Seek Export Incentives

Smartphone makers in India are calling for export credits on devices and tariff cuts on machinery imports as part of measures they say will make Asia’s third-biggest economy a global smartphone manufacturing hub.

The India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), whose members include some of the industry’s biggest names including Apple Inc, made the proposals in a 174-page document reviewed by Reuters and submitted to the government ahead of its annual budget announcement next week.

“As the country is nearing to achieve saturation point… without an export take-off manufacturing growth cannot be sustained and accelerated,” the ICEA said in the document.

The ICEA confirmed it submitted the document. The finance and technology ministries did not respond to requests for comment.

The government’s ‘Make in India’ campaign beginning 2014 and gradual tax increases on imports of mobile phone components have spurred the creation of more than 260 manufacturing units in the country and over 600,000 jobs, ICEA said.

That has helped India become the second-biggest producer of mobile phones after China, and prompted foreign smartphone makers such as Oppo and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd as well as contract manufacturers like Wistron Corp and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (Foxconn) to ramp up production for phones primarily sold domestically.

The industry is now set for a further boost under a broader National Policy on Electronics currently in the works. Yet at the same time, the government also appears to be raising obstacles.—The Daily Star

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