Three officials from US tech giant Apple, including its vice-president Priya Balasubramaniam, met commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday. The meeting, which lasted over 40 minutes, came a day before an Apple team is giving a presentation to an inter-ministerial panel to pitch for various incentives that the company is seeking to set up a manufacturing unit in India.
Apple has sent a list of demands to the government — including a reported 15-year customs duty holiday on iPhone kit imports— as necessary pre-conditions to start manufacturing in India.
Apple officials are scheduled to meet senior officials from ministries, including finance, industry, communications and information and technology and environment, on Wednesday.
Stating the intent of the government clearly, communications & information technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad last week said the Centre would consider Apple’s request for various incentives with an “open mind” and it would “very much like” it to set up its base in India.
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Global Exhibition on Services in April
India is organising the third ‘Global Exhibition on Services (GES), starting April 17, in Greater Noida. The services sector accounts for roughly 33% of the country’s exports.
Earlier in the day, Sitharaman on Tuesday invited global and domestic players to participate in this four-day event.
Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia said the sector is very important and areas like IT, healthcare, tourism, logistics hold huge potential for trade and investments.
Participants from 20 sectors and 600 delegates will attend the GES, which will be inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee. Industry body CII is a partner in this initiative.
As many as 25,000 visitors are expected in the event, apart from 20 ministers from various countries and 500 exhibitors. This time, three new sectors viz railways, sports and retail & e-commerce have been added to the existing list of well over a dozen sectors.
India to submit proposal on TFA on services soon
India will soon submit a proposal on trade facilitation agreement in services at the World Trade Organization (WTO) so that meaningful discussions on this issue can be initiated, according to Sitharaman. India has already submitted a concept note with the WTO.
India is pitching for this trade facilitation agreement in services as the sector contributes over 60% to its GDP and 28% to total employment.