India To Review Laptop Import Strategy In September With A Plan To Assess Local Production Readiness

The Indian government is poised to reassess its laptop and digital device import strategy this September, eyeing to gauge the readiness of electronics manufacturers to bolster their production capacities within the nation.

What to know: According to an ET report, this reevaluation aims to scrutinize the volume and origins of laptops imported since last October, emphasizing the need for components to hail from trusted sources.

A critical aspect under the microscope is the companies’ efforts towards establishing or expanding manufacturing units in India, which could lead to eased import criteria for IT hardware.

A senior government official highlighted the challenge of establishing printed circuit board (PCB) and surface mount technology (SMT) manufacturing lines in India as pivotal for enhancing domestic value addition.

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Change in plan: This strategic pivot follows last year’s introduction of an import management system for various IT hardware, marking a transition towards restricted import categories for items like laptops and servers, necessitating licensing for importers.

Despite initial restrain, the government extended compliance deadlines in response to industry appeals, underscoring its intent not to hamper imports but to stimulate domestic production and export promotion.

According to a recent Reuters report, the U.S. government quickly responded to India’s sudden imposition of laptop import restrictions in August with a comprehensive lobbying campaign. This effort included high-level diplomatic discussions and covert negotiations.

This initiative, aimed at safeguarding U.S. exports worth approximately $500 million and preserving the bilateral business environment, culminated in a strategic meeting between U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Indian Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, where Tai advocated for revising the newly imposed licensing requirement.

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