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Many units in Nokia Telecom SEZ may reopen by March 2020.


Date: 27-11-2019
Subject: Many units in Nokia Telecom SEZ may reopen by March 2020
CHENNAI: The Nokia Telecom Special Economic Zone (SEZ) near Chennai is expected to see a revival, with most shuttered units inside the 212-acre cluster likely to recommence production by March next year, according to industry executives.

Tamil Nadu government officials said there is a scramble for land, or brownfield set-ups, from electronics manufacturers in the state, thanks to the trade war between the United States and China.

“Flex, previously Flextronics, and one other company expressed interest in the Nokia factory, but it finally went to Salcomp,” said a senior government official.

The development comes nearly five years after a huge tax demand shut down one of the largest phone factories in the world, in October 2014, that saw job losses, leading to a domino effect in factory shutdowns in the electronics manufacturing industry.

Last week, Finnish company Salcomp, acquired by Chinese firm Lingyi iTech, sealed a deal to buy the one million sq ft Nokia factory inside the SEZ. Salcomp had also recently purchased the 300,000 sq ft unit of Lite-on Mobile factory inside the special economic zone.

Taiwanese phone maker Foxconn, which has an idle unit inside the SEZ, may also consider reopening its unit should the business case prove conducive, an official aware of Foxconn’s India plans told ET.

Foxconn had recently begun making high-end iPhones from its 160-acre plant outside the Nokia Telecom SEZ.

Electronics manufacturers had earlier said the export incentive under the Merchandise Export Incentive Scheme (MEIS) would play a key role in enabling India to get a foothold in the market birthed by the spread of manufacturing capacities from China.

Salcomp India managing director Sasikumar Gendham said most companies are adopting a “China Plus One” strategy, looking out for another base beyond China to support manufacturing. “The advantage for India is its huge domestic market, compared to its competitors such as Vietnam, and we can do much better by way of a concerted export policy push to make the most of this shift,” he said.

Salcomp India has raised capacity across its three factories in the country to 150 million chargers a year, investing Rs 200 crore in the past two years.

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

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