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BENGALURU: US e-commerce giant Amazon on Tuesday announced commencement of its first manufacturing line in India for making its Fire TV Stick devices in the country. It will partner contract manufacturer Cloud Network Technology, a subsidiary of Foxconn, and production will start later this year from Chennai.

The operation is aimed at catering to demands of customers in India. Amazon will continuously evaluate scaling capacity to additional marketplaces or cities depending on the demand, the company said in a blog.

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"India is poised to become a major player in the global supply chain in the electronics and IT products industry. Our government’s decision to launch a Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme has received tremendous response globally. We welcome Amazon’s decision to set up a manufacturing line in Chennai...This will further our mission of creating a ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ which is digitally empowered," said information technology minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, commenting on the announcement.

To reduce dependence imports from China, the Indian government in November last year had approved the PLI scheme for close to 10 sectors, providing incentives to manufacturers for increasing output and incremental sales.

The government has committed nearly Rs1.97 trillion, over five years starting FY2021-22, for the scheme, finance minister Nirmala Sitharman had said in her Budget 2021 speech.

“Amazon is committed to partner with the Indian government to advance the vision of an Atma Nirbhar Bharat. We have pledged to invest $1 billion to digitize 10 million small and medium businesses, help Indian businesses sell worldwide thereby enabling $10 billion in cumulative exports, and create an additional 1million jobs by 2025," said Amit Agarwal, global SVP and country leader for Amazon India.

"Today, we are delighted to announce Amazon’s first manufacturing line in India to produce hundreds of thousands of Fire TV Stick devices every year catering to the demands of the Indian customers," added Agarwal.

Amazon is a part of the growing list of companies which are looking to set up manufacturing facilities in the country. American electric vehicle company, Tesla Inc, is also looking to set up an electric car manufacturing facility in Karantaka, the state government confirmed, on Sunday.

"The Production Linked Manufacturing (PLI) for large scale electronics manufacturing has emerged as a major success with many international companies commencing production of electronics goods from India. Entry of Amazon in this sector adds to the success story of electronics manufacturing in India," an official statement from ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) said.

Minister Prasad also asked Amazon India to help in taking products made by India’s artisans and ayurvedic products to global markets through its platform. "Amazon is a global company but Amazon India must evolve as a truly India company deeply connected with Indian business community and culture."

Meanwhile, over the past year, Foxconn has also been looking to ramp up its investments to expand its manufacturing capabilities in southern states of India.

In December, contract manufacturer for Apple Inc. Wistron Corp. saw riots break out in its Kolar facility by workers over unpaid salaries, causing the iPhone manufacturer to put the supplier on probation.

(Shreya Nandi contributed to the story.)

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