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Apple wants a quarter of its products manufactured in India, claims minister

Take that, China

India is responsible for five to seven percent of Apple's manufacturing, and the iPhone maker aims to grow that number to 25 percent, according to India's minister of commerce and industry, Piyush Goyal.

Speaking on Monday at the inaugural session of the B20 India Inception – a part of the G20 dialog – Goyal called Apple a "success story" for Indian manufacturing.

"They launched the most recent models from India, manufactured in India and our honorable minister is carrying it with him, a Made In India Apple phone, and with that will follow the ecosystem, the supply chain," beamed [VIDEO] Goyal.

"They are already at five to seven percent of their manufacturing in India. If I am not mistaken, they are targeting to go up to 25 percent," Goyal said.

The minister attributed interest from Apple and other manufacturers to India's transparent rule of law.

"We don't have opaque business models, we don't have hidden subsidies, we don't have anything done in the government which is not known to the public at large," said Goyal, not long after news broke that the nation's government invoked emergency laws to prevent access to a BBC documentary critical of prime minister Narendra Modi.

In December 2022, Apple supplier and electronics manufacturing giant Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd, also known as Foxconn, disclosed in a stock exchange filing that it would invest $500 million to expand its manufacturing presence in India, inclusive of semiconductors, as a "long term investment."

Analysts have predicted a shift in hardware production after COVID-19 demonstrated the folly of concentrating manufacturing in one location. Lingering supply chain challenges resulting from from China's zero COVID policies, plus sanctions that make it hard to import some tech products, have also given manufacturers good reason to diversify their suppliers.

India, meanwhile, has sought to quadruple its electronics manufacturing business by 2026.

Prior to Goyal's speech, minister for railways, IT and communications Ashwini Vaishnaw spoke on India's approach to preventing monopolies through public-private partnerships.

"Our prime minister took the approach: Can we build a system a digital ecosystem in which the monopoly of any Big Tech doesn't come? Can the digital system be very inclusive? Can it create opportunities for multiple stakeholders? With that as the fundamental construct in his mind he launched the Digital India program in 2015."

Vaishnam said that approach led the government to use public funds to build sector-specific platforms through public-private partnerships – examples include a payment platform and a vaccination-related platform. At that point, Vaishnaw said the government "let everybody else join those platforms and build solutions."

The minister also provided some details of its 4G and 5G technology stack. Vaishnam said the system, which was leveraged by a public-private partnership, has now been tested for ten million simultaneous calls.

Goyal told the event that the Indian economy grew by a factor of 12 in US dollar terms since 1991 years to reach GDP of $3.2 trillion.

"There is no other market in the world as large as the India opportunity today," said the minister, noting that it's not just tech that will benefit: local sales of products like dishwashers will boom as more women enter the workforce.

"India would like to share with the world the big opportunity for economic growth, for powering the world economy also to grow, for collaborations, for cooperation. We can remain competitive, and also collaborate and collectively see how we can help serve the world with India as your base." ®

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