The Indian government had earlier not allowed Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) from opening any brick-and-mortar outlets in the country since the company doesn’t manufacture any products in India.
Foxconn, which manufactures most of the Apple devices will re-enter India following months of blackout after the close down of Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) production lines in India. The Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, made the declaration after returning from the China Tour accompanying Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
Foxconn has been reportedly granted approval to set up new plants that will produce future iPhones in the Western Indian state of Maharashtra.
Fadnavis visited Foxconn’s manufacturing facility in the Henan province. The unit employs nearly 300,000 people and manufactures iPhone models that include the new iPhone 6.
Fadnavis stated that India had the world’s largest number of cell phones. However, only a mere 7% of these handsets were manufactured in India, remaining is imported. According to him, Foxconn wishes to set up a complete ecosystem, with suppliers and not only an assembly line.
Foxconn would be investmenting in either Pune or Aurangabad in Maharashtra. Other parts of India where Foxconn could set up its facility would be Gujarat, Noida, and Andhra Pradesh. This aligns with a “Made in India” program that the current government has been steadfastly promoting.
Foxconn has hired the services of former Nokia executive, Josh Foulger, who was instrumental in setting up Nokia’s manufacturing base in Chennai. The plant was earlier closed along with Foxconn’s facilities in India.
The Chief Minister is targeting the huge job opportunities resulting from investment. India stands to gain also from the export of the premium Smartphone.
Fadnavis also said that India is rapidly urbanizing. The PM had a vision of creating scores of smart cities. India’s most urbanized state, Maharashtra would welcome Chinese expertise and investment. The CM went on to say that he was planning a visit to the Chinese province of Qingdao to learn from Chinese infrastructure development.