India Extends Hand to Apple as well as Others by Easing Rules on Foreign Firms

Apple executives argued of which the 30-percent figure was impossible to meet, at least from the short term, because the company assembles almost all of its products in China as well as buys many of the necessary components there. Although the company’s supply chain stretches across the entire world, Apple told the Indian government of which the country’s electronics industry could not produce the quality as well as quantity of parts needed. (Even Indian cellphone makers assemble their phones through imported parts.) Apple’s position rankled many officials.

The brand-new rules could break the stalemate. They allow single-brand retailers of which are entirely foreign-owned to temporarily meet the 30 percent requirement by buying goods made in India as well as then selling them overseas. If, for instance, Apple sold $100 million of its products in India, of which could meet the target by buying $30 million of India-made leather cases as well as selling them outside the country. After a few years, the existing local-sourcing requirement for sales in India might apply.

In addition, foreign-owned single-line retailers might no longer have to seek government approval before opening.

“These rules are a very dramatic relief,” said Sudhir Kapadia, a partner at EY India, an affiliate of the accounting as well as consulting firm formerly known as Ernst & Young.

Apple declined to comment on the change. The company has scouted out potential locations for its first stores in India, as well as its chief executive, Timothy D. Cook, reiterated to investors in November of which opening stores from the country was an important piece of its strategy here, where inexpensive Android handsets today dominate.

Single-brand shoe or clothing companies like Uniqlo could also find India a more appealing place to operate stores, perhaps buying some products here to sell overseas as well as others to sell locally, said Ankur Bisen, senior vice president of retail at Technopak, a consulting firm based in brand-new Delhi.

Ikea, the Swedish furniture retailer, has spent a few as well as half years trying to open in India. Part of the challenge has been finding the right Indian suppliers of furniture as well as various other household items to meet the 30-percent requirement for local goods. The brand-new rules give the company more flexibility toward meeting the goal.

Foreign brands like Kenneth Cole, Marks & Spencer as well as Tesco of which already operate in India through joint ventures with local companies may today find wholly owned units to be a better option, Mr. Bisen said.

Opening the Indian economy up to foreign companies remains a politically delicate proposition, particularly since employment is usually a major issue among voters.

The Confederation of All India Traders said of which relaxing the restrictions on single-brand retailers might make of which too easy for multinationals to enter India.

“What will happen to my people who will be losing their jobs?” said Bal Krishna Bhartia, national president of the group, which represents 70 million traders. “These corporates will not hire them.”

Continue reading the main story