The worldâs fastest growing smartphone market wants Apple to manufacture locally, but some in the ruling government are hesitant to agree to the company’s “unprecedented” requests before commencing manufacturing in the country.
Apple has shown interest in assembling its products in India, but it is hoping that the local government would provide it with several tax and other incentives, including possibly a long-term duty exemption.
Some officials in the government believe such concessions would be excessive and unfair, especially since Apple already operates in India, reports Reuters.Â
Apple executives will meet government officials on Jan. 25. to discuss their plans to manufacture in India as well as the concessions. IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Wednesday that the government would keep an “open mind” in negotiations with the company.
“We will very much like Apple to come and have a base in India,” he said, reaffirming governmentâs willingness to see the Cupertino-giant expand its businesses in the country.Â
The Indian government offers various benefits to overseas companies to setup manufacturing plants in India as such efforts help in creation of new jobs and foster the development of cities and states.Â
Apple’s demands to assemble iPhones locally in India are unprecedented.
But Apple’s demands are unprecedented. “We have not done this for anyone,” a senior government official told the publication. “If we do this, we must see a lot of value addition.”
“Apple is coming here because it sees a lucrative market, this is not a favor being done to India,” another official was quoted as saying.Â
Apple sees a big opportunity in India. With sales growth of iPhones slumping worldwide, India has emerged as one of few places that is showing a growing demands for iPhones. The home to over a billion people, there are only about 260 million smartphone users in the country.Â
The iPhone maker has acknowledged the importance of India several times in the past few quarters. Tim Cook visited the nation for the first time as CEO of the company last year. During his visit, he met several government officials including Indiaâs PM Narendra Modi, expressing desires to expand the company’s business in the country.