South Korea to lift India ties on par with China, US, Japan

South Korea to lift India ties on par with China, US, Japan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in jointly inaugurated Samsung Centre, the world's largest mobile phone factory in Noida.

According to a statement from Samsung, the factory will help almost double its output of mobile devices in India from 68 million units a year to a whopping 120 million units a year.

More than 120 local factories now assemble mobile phones and accessories like chargers, batteries, powerbanks and earphones in India, according to tech research firm Counterpoint.

Located in Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi, the new facility will give Samsung the ability to output handsets at an unprecedented rate - said to be up to 120 million smartphones a year. Over 30 per cent of the production at Samsung's Noida manufacturing facility will be exported. "Altogether, over 400,000 people are working in those units and Samsung is spearheading this with a workforce of 70,000 people", Modi said.

In June 2017, Samsung had announced an investment of ₹4,915 crore to add capacity at the Noida plant, under the Uttar Pradesh government's Mega Policy.

Announcing the investment previous year, the South Korean giant said that it would position the Noida plant as a major production hub and create about 5,000 new jobs.

"This is an important step towards making India a manufacturing hub", the prime minister said of the USD$750 million factory investment.

Samsung was the top-selling smartphone brand in India for years, but it was beaten by China's Xiaomi in the Indian market between October and December last year.

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A total of 11 MoUs were signed between India and South Korea including on cooperation in the field of biotechnology and bio-economics and on cooperation in the field of ICT and Telecommunications. We "Make in India", "Make for India" and now, we will "Make for the World".

South Korean President Moon Jae-in met PM Modi multiple times during his India visit.

The factory's expansion has made it possible for Samsung to churn out 10 million smartphones a month. He spoke of the expansion of smartphones, broadband and data connectivity, which he described as signs of a digital revolution in India.

Modi credited Moon for initiating the peace process in the Korean peninsula.

"India-Republic of Korea (RoK) relations has made great strides in recent years and has become truly multidimensional, spurred by a significant convergence of interests, mutual goodwill and high level exchanges", the Ministry of External Affairs had said in a statement.

Along with bringing jobs, such localized manufacturing could also go a ways toward helping bring the cost of devices down.

The facility is expected to help Samsung build more cheap phones to make gains in India, a market dominated by the likes of Xiaomi and Lenovo's Motorola unit.

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