Apple has reportedly interacted with the top officials of the Commerce Ministry regarding the opening of retail stores in India. According to reports, the top officials from the Cupertino-based tech giant met senior officials in the Commerce Ministry in a bid to discuss opening retail stores in India. There are reports that Apple had sought clarity from the officials regarding the norms associated with sourcing local components.

The recently held meeting was chaired by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) Secretary Ramesh Abhishek in the presence of other senior bureaucrats. The whole meeting lasted an hour. Apple was represented by senior management officials who discussed details of the new Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) rules in single-brand retail.

Apple sought clarification from the Government

There are reports that Apple has sought clarification on the proposed changes in the compulsory domestic sourcing norms for single-brand retail. Meanwhile, Apple also explained the future expansion plans of the company in India before the officials. As of writing this, we don’t have any formal statement from both sides.

Latest FDI norms offer 3 and 5 years exemption

In June 2016, FDI norms were relaxed by the government. It provides a three-year exemption from local sourcing companies to certain key foreign companies in single-brand retail. Moreover, the government has given a five-year exemption for those companies that manufacturers ‘state-of-the-art’ and ‘cutting-edge’ technology.

Regarding market growth, India is considered as an emerging potential contender for the iPhone manufacturer. If you critically examine the earnings of the first three-quarters of 2016, the iPhone sales in India scaled up by 51 percent.

Time Cook interaction with PM Modi and Industry leaders

To recall, Apple CEO Tim Cook visited India in May 2016 and interacted with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the various possibilities for the growth of Apple in India. He also held meetings with key industry leaders like Sunil Bharti Mittal and veteran banker Chanda Kocchar.

During his interaction with Modi, Cook discussed various issues, which includes the establishment of offline retail stores across the country. The current rule is that companies need to source at least 30 percent items locally for single brand retail.

In the meantime, Apple announced that they are on the verge of establishing a premium design and development center in Hyderabad. It will provide adequate support for the building of innovative iOS and Android applications. Based on the available reports, we can infer that the Hyderabad center is in the process of creating Google Maps.