Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to finally approve a three-year extension on local-sourcing rules within the country, granted to Apple due to its single-brand retail company status selling “cutting-edge technology.” Those familiar with the matter, speaking with Bloomberg, claimed that the Indian government as a whole is gearing up to make it easier for all companies like Apple to meet a similar criteria.
Before the so-called “shift” in Modi’s government, India’s rules on foreign direct investments required 30 percent of goods sold by a foreign company to be manufactured and produced within the country. Like most companies, the law prevented Apple’s retail growth within India — leading to a handful of third-party endorsed pop-up shops — because of the fact that most of its goods are created in China.
Apple filed for a new retail application when the new shifts in India’s laws began to pick up steam, but some confusion still remained over what would be considered “cutting-edge” and “state of the art” technology, which could eventually grant a company another 5-year extension on top of the blanketed 3-year ruling being made common. It’s this “push to clarify” the country’s laws and procedures that Modi is spearheading, eventually expected to allow Apple to open its first retail stores in India.
Modi’s push to clarify those procedures will pave the way for Apple to open a retail store, according to the people [familiar with the matter]. The new rules may also impact China’s Xiaomi Corp. and Leshi Internet Information & Technology Corp., which have also asked for exemptions.
Apple has been attempting to gain a foothold in India for a while now, most recently with CEO Tim Cook visiting the country, and Modi himself, to discuss manufacturing and retail opportunities. Its Authorized Mobility Resellers program has allowed Apple to skirt the country’s restrictive retail presence rules, but still lacks the ability to bring in big sales numbers from India.
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