21:47 GMT19 January 2021
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    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in jointly inaugurated on Monday the world’s largest smartphone factory in Noida, a high-tech suburb of India’s national capital.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): Samsung's production unit in Noida will build 12 million mobile phones every month and generate employment for over 2,000 locals. 30 percent of the manufactured goods will be exported to the markets of Europe, West Asia, and Africa.

    "This is a perfect blend of India's software expertise and Korea's manufacturing," Indian Prime Minister Modi said at the inaugural event.

    The South Korean president described the facility as a great achievement in the history of the two countries.

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    "I hope the smartphones produced here at the Noida factory will lead the IT civilization of India and South Korea. The sweat you shed here today together with the people of India will be recorded as a great achievement in the history of our two countries' friendship and development," President Moon Jae-in said.

    The Indian government claimed this as a major success of its "Make in India" initiative, which mainly aims to weed out two major impediments to economic growth — a low contribution of manufacturing to the country's national income and rising unemployment.

    However, official statistics suggest that the "Make in India" program is yet to generate the required investments and that a large part of consumer demands are still being accomplished through imports; largely from China.

    Imports excluding crude oil have jumped from $280 billion in 2015 to $370 billion in 2017. The trade gap for electronic products has doubled in the last five years. The deficit stood at $38.94 billion for 2017-18 compared to $18.86 billion in 2013-14.

    Nevertheless, Prime Minister Modi has claimed that there has been significant growth in the manufacturing sector.  

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    "India has reached at the second position in mobile phone manufacturing in the world. In the last four years, the number of mobile phone factories has increased from 2 to 120. More than four lakh youth get direct employment from this manufacturing growth," Modi added.

    PM Modi may have enthusiastically quoted this figure but the fact remains that most of the factories are merely assembling parts imported from China, Taiwan, and South Korea.  

    South Korean President Moon's trip to the Noida facility came a day after he arrived in New Delhi for a four-day state visit. Moon and Modi are set to hold talks on Tuesday — their second bilateral summit since Moon took office in May 2017. 


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    economic benefits, employment, manufacturing, smartphones, Make in India, bilateral relations, Moon Jae-in, Narendra Modi, India, South Korea
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