New Delhi: Foxconn Technology Group, which manufactures iPhones for Apple Inc., has sought 13 acres of land in the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust’s (JNPT) special economic zone (SEZ) in Mumbai, according to shipping and roads minister Nitin Gadkari.
The minister said he has spoken to Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis about this but declined to share more details.
It isn’t immediately clear if Foxconn’s request has anything to do with the many projects it has already announced in India, especially in Maharashtra. A Foxconn spokesperson did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
The Taiwan-based contract manufacturer, which also makes Apple’s iPads and Microsoft’s Xboxes, has submitted a proposal to the Indian government to revive the Nokia facility at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu which was shut down in 2014 due to a tax dispute of Rs21,000 crore between the Finnish company and Indian tax authorities— rendering thousands jobless. The factory was excluded from Microsoft’s $7.2 billion purchase of Nokia’s global phone operations two years ago.
In 2015, Foxconn had announced it would set up 12 factories in India, creating about 1 million jobs. The same year, it signed an exploratory agreement with Maharashtra to set up an electronics manufacturing plant in the state, investing $5 billion over five years.
JNPT chairman Anil Diggikar confirmed that Foxconn was looking to buy land in the SEZ but said the talks were at an early stage.
A senior government official said on condition of anonymity that Foxconn executives have met the JNPT chairman and officials in the Maharashtra government. He added that the company officials also had a look at JNPT infrastructure and facilities available. “The second round of meetings haven’t happened because the company is yet to come back," this person said.
Jaijeet Bhattacharya, partner, infrastructure and government services, KPMG says Foxconn’s decision to make such a significant investment demonstrates the efficacy of the government’s Make in India programme and its effort to encourage the electronics manufacturing in India.