The Indian government announced on Wednesday that import of used goods for repair and refurbishing will be allowed, provided these goods are then exported. This move is expected to boost plans of manufacturers such as Apple who are looking at further penetrating the Indian market.
The move comes in light of the looming trade war between China and the US where President Donald Trump announced plans to impose tariffs on up to $60 billion worth of Chinese goods. On the other hand, China is planning to impose additional duties on up to $3 billion of imported goods from the US. This is in response to the US’ import tariffs on steel and aluminum, Reuters reports.
The trade war between the two nations is seen as an opportunity for India to further boost its Make in India initiative. “Trump’s trade war with China could be a win for India,” Neil Shah, a partner at research firm Counterpoint is quoted as saying in the report.
Currently, China is the biggest destination for repair and refurbishment of electronic devices and India could fill in the gap by allowing the import of goods for fixing and then exporting them back, without hurting domestic manufacturing goals.The government order said that the waste generated during the repair and refurbishing of imported items should be in line with the local laws including health, safety and environment norms.
In a recent report, Counterpoint highlighted that the global market for refurbished smartphones grew 13 percent year-on-year in 2017, close to 140 million units. In contrast, the global new smartphone market grew a meager 3 percent last year. According to the report, the refurbished smartphone market recorded the highest volume in regions including the US and Europe, with the fastest growing markets in Africa, South East Asia, and India.
Apple manufactures a bulk of its premium iPhones in China and given the latest impose of duties, India could potentially help the company cut cost and offer talent for the refurbishing of goods. In the given situation, manufacturers looking at expanding in India, such as Apple, can tap on the talent and resources for repairing phones, and this “could potentially turn India into a global export hub for refurbished devices,” Shah is quoted as saying.