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China’s loss is turning out to be India’s gain as supply chains start shifting

About two dozen companies pledged $1.5 billion of investments to set up mobile-phone factories in India after Modi govt announced incentives in March.

New Delhi: India’s latest set of incentives to entice businesses moving away from China seem to be working, with companies from Samsung Electronics Co. to Apple Inc.’s assembly partners showing interest in investing in the South Asian nation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in March announced incentives that make niche firms — electronics manufacturers — eligible for a payment of 4%-6% of their incremental sales over the next five years. The result: about two dozen companies pledged $1.5 billion of investments to set up mobile-phone factories in the country.

Besides Samsung, those that have shown interest are Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., known as Foxconn, Wistron Corp. and Pegatron Corp. India has also extended similar incentives to pharmaceutical businesses, and plans to cover more sectors, which may include automobiles, textiles, and food processing under the program.

While companies have been actively looking to diversify supply chains amid the U.S.-China trade tensions and the coronavirus outbreak, it hasn’t yet translated into big gains for India despite the nation making it cheaper for businesses to open shop. Vietnam remains the most favored destination, followed by Cambodia, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Thailand, according to a recent survey by Standard Chartered Plc.

“There is a reasonable chance for India to gain in terms of incremental investment of supply chains within the country over the medium term,” said Kaushik Das, chief India economist at Deutsche Bank AG in Mumbai. “These programs are aimed at increasing India’s manufacturing share in the gross domestic product.”

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