Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. (Photo: PTI)

Suresh Prabhu To Meet Apple Executives In Davos Over India Manufacturing Plans

Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Friday that he will met the top leadership of iPhone maker Apple in Davos next month to discuss their plan about setting up manufacturing facilities in India.

He said that talks were already on with the company, and the government can look at the demands of the U.S-based company for setting up its manufacturing facility in the country.

“We are still talking to Apple. Negotiations are ongoing. If they agree, we will like them to set up offices in India as well. I am meeting Apple’s top leadership in Davos in early January,” the minister told PTI in an interview.

"When their offer came two-three years back and today, the situation has changed for them as well as for us,” Prabhu said. “So, it is a good time to meet and discuss and finalise."

When asked about tax and other concessions being demanded by the company, the minister said: "We can look into that.” The tax and other concessions demanded by them can be negotiated, he said, adding it is a good time for Apple to come to India, "we will be very happy to receive them".

The Cupertino-based iPhone and iPad manufacturer has asked for certain concessions for setting up its manufacturing unit in the country. It had sought duty exemption on manufacturing and repair units, components, capital equipment and consumables for smartphone manufacturing and service/repair for 15 years.

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The company also wanted relaxation in the mandated 30 percent local sourcing of components, besides reduction in customs duties on completely-knocked down and semi-knocked down units of devices that are to be assembled in the country.

Apple does not manufacture devices on its own but gets the job done through contract manufacturers. It sells its products through company-owned retail stores in countries like China, Germany, the U.S., the U.K. and France, among others.

It has no wholly-owned store in India and sells products through distributors such as Redington and Ingram Micro.