Sci-tech

Narendra Modi inaugurates 'world's largest mobile factory' in Noida

Narendra Modi inaugurates 'world's largest mobile factory' in Noida

Samsung hopes the smartphones it makes in India will be sold locally and in other markets around the world.

South Korean conglomerate Samsung Electronics Monday inaugurated what it said is the world's largest mobile factory that will have a capacity of 120 million handsets a year - almost double the current 68 million - under a phased expansion by 2020.

The factory was formally inaugurated on Monday by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean President Moon-Jae In, underscoring Samsung's efforts to increase production in the world's fastest growing major mobile phone market. The plant in Noida was set up in 1996 where the company manufactured consumer products, including smartphones, refrigerators and television sets.

Called as Samsung Electronics facility, this massive plant is spread over 35 acres of land in Noida Sector 81 area.

By 2012, Samsung became the market leader in mobile phones in the country and the Noida facility rolled out the first-ever "Galaxy S3" device. "I have been told that this unit will be the company's largest manufacturing unit".

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said the new manufacturing unit is a step towards making India a manufacturing hub.

Samsung, which has been assembling phones in India since 2007, also plans to export India-made handsets.

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"I am committed to raise relations with India to the level of those with our four major powers around the Korean peninsula", Moon said, adding that this commitment was embodied in his new southern policy outlined previous year.

The prime minister said India has 40 crore smartphones in use and 32 crore people using the broadband internet.

Last June, Samsung announced an investment of ₹4,915 crore to add new capacity at the Noida plant.

Moon will hold talks with Modi on Tuesday during his four-day visit, which India expects would open new avenues for expanding the bilateral partnership, particularly in the economic domain.

President Moon Jae-in said the new facility will create a new era for India-Korea ties.

In his address at the Samsung event, Modi said that development would lend pace to the Make in India programme. "2,000 new jobs will be generated in this plant", he said. That is one reason Apple has struggled to gain market share in India, as most iPhone models are priced beyond US$500, according to a Bloomberg Intelligence report earlier this month.

There has been an upswing in India's defence cooperation with South Korea and both sides are expected to explore ways to enhance it.