The Indian government is supporting Apple’s efforts to expand its business operations in the country, said Piyush Goyal, the commerce and industry minister. Goyal explained that the electronics industry works by initially setting up a basic system before sourcing and implementing additional components. “Apple is continuously expanding their operations in India… We are in regular touch with Apple, MeITY is also in touch with them… We hand-hold them because in a way, the eyes of the whole world are fixed on Apple,” stated Goyal when asked about Apple’s plans to open a manufacturing unit in India.
Apple’s Expanding Operations in India
Apple has been gradually increasing its operations in India for some time now. In 2017, the company began manufacturing the iPhone SE at its manufacturing plant in Bengaluru. and has since started assembling other models like the iPhone XR and iPhone 12. Companies such as Foxconn, Wistron, and Pegatron manufacture the company’s iPhones in India.
India’s Mobile and Electronics Industry
Piyush Goyal has previously stated that India’s exports of mobile and electronic goods have doubled over the last year. One of the leading contributors to this growth is Apple, which exported around USD 5 billion worth of goods from India last year. Industry sources estimate that the tech giant plans to have 25 percent of its global production coming out of India within the next four or five years.
Mobile phone exports from India rose to close to $11.12 billion, with Apple accounting for nearly half of the total exports, according to estimates from industry sources and the India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA). ICEA revealed that mobile phone exports from India doubled over the past year to surpass Rs 90,000 crore ($12.3 billion) in the financial year 2022-23, up from Rs 45,000 crore ($6.14 billion) in 2021-22.
Comments from ICEA Chairman Pankaj Mohindroo
Commenting on the situation, Pankaj Mohindroo, chairman of the ICEA, stated: “No economy or sector in the economy can become a great and vibrant global economy without large exports. The mobile phone export juggernaut continues. Riding on the 100 percent growth in mobile phone exports, which have crossed Rs 90,000 crore for FY 2022-23, electronics exports have also grown by 58 percent to Rs 1,85,000 crore. It is extremely satisfying that we have crossed the targeted figure of Rs 75,000 crore for the year.” Mohindroo also confirmed that Apple is estimated to have clocked 50 percent share with the export of ‘made in India’ iPhones worth $5.5 billion (INR 45,000 crore) from India.
Call for More Exports
The call for more electronic goods exports from India comes as part of a larger push to increase exports in the country. India has also seen an increase in pharmaceutical exports during the pandemic. The Indian government aims to increase exports to $400 billion by 2022, up from $314.4 billion in 2020. It is important to note that India is not currently on Apple’s list of countries from which it operates multiple business units. By localizing its production in India, Apple can avoid import duties and reduce its overall manufacturing and production costs.