Ravi Shankar Prasad To Meet Tech CEOs To Discuss Exports, Sectoral Issues
Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. (Photographer: Atul Yadav/PTI)   

Ravi Shankar Prasad To Meet Tech CEOs To Discuss Exports, Sectoral Issues

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The government will meet chief executive officers of tech companies, including Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. on Sept. 16 to discuss challenges being faced by them and incentives and schemes that can be offered to position India as the 'electronics factory' of the world.

The meeting comes at a time when India has set its sight on creating a $400 billion electronics manufacturing ecosystem by 2025.

India hopes to nudge the tech titans to deepen their manufacturing commitments, leveraging the country's market appeal, talent pool, digital base and competitive labour costs, amid the U.S.-China trade war.

The meeting called by Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister for Electronics and IT, is expected to see participation of leading players like Vivo, Oppo, Qualcomm, Xiaomi, Dell, HP, Bosch, Cisco, Flextronics, Foxconn, Nokia, LG, and Panasonic. Other participants include Intel, Wistron, and Sterlite Technologies.

The meeting would be represented by all major verticals of electronics sector, such as mobiles, consumer electronics, strategic electronics, medical devices, electronics manufacturing services, components, telecom and LED lighting, among others.

"We will listen to the players on how they now plan to push their manufacturing to a larger scale in India, and bring in supply chain and value addition. We will listen to their suggestions with an open mind," IT Secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney said in New Delhi on Friday.

Over the last few years, there has been a visible ramp up of mobile phone production in India, as new factories have mushroomed across the country. Twenty-nine crore mobile phones, valued at Rs 1.70 lakh crore, were manufactured in 2018-19.

India now hopes to put the building blocks for the next wave of growth, positioning itself as a global hub for manufacturing and exports, complete with a supply chain ecosystem. It is also fine-tuning a fresh cluster scheme that would atttract anchor manufacturing units with supply chain ecosystem and ancillary firms.

Following the deliberation on Sept. 16, various boosters and schemes will be given finishing touches. Asked if these would be finalised over the next 6-8 months, Sawhney said "it will happen before that".

The National Electronics Policy 2019, cleared by the Cabinet earlier this year, plans to bolster mobile phone manufacturing in India to 1 billion units worth $190 billion. Of this, 600 million units worth $110 billion will be exported.

A recent report by the Internet and Mobile Association of India had said India's mobile phone manufacturing lacks scale and depth despite its ambition to become global production hub, and the country now needs to "think big" by manufacturing at scale, producing high-end phones, and incentivising exports.

The report, titled 'Make in India 2.0 (Revisiting Mobile Manufacturing)' had said the global handsets market is worth about $467 billion, and this demand is being met almost entirely by China, Vietnam, South Korea and Taiwan.

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