Taiwan to ‘make in India’ electronic goods near Bengaluru

Bengaluru, Aug 12 (IANS) Taiwanese electronic firms will roll out products from a dedicated cluster the Karnataka government has set up for them near the Devanahalli international airport here, an official said on Wednesday.

“We expect Taiwanese firms to invest about $500 million (Rs.3,200 crore) in setting up production facilities in the 100-acre cluster set up exclusively for them near the airport,” Karnataka Industry Secretary Ratna Prabha told reporters here.

The state government has signed an agreement with the Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (TEEMA), an apex body of about 3,000 firms, for creating the Taiwan Electronic Manufacturing Cluster (TEMC) at Devanahalli.

Prabha said that 20,000 to 30,000 jobs would be created once TEMC is fully functional.

“Karnataka has all the right elements. Right people, right government officials, right talent,” said Francis Tsai, chairman of TEEMA’s India Economic and Trade Committee, on choosing the state.

“We have not come here for small operations, we are testing the waters, we are new here and have high confidence in Karnataka and we will expand in the future,” he said, adding TEEMA plans to expand the operations up to 1,000 acres in the future.

“Already, 40 percent land at TEMC has been taken up by two companies,” said Tsai without naming the companies.

Electronics manufacturing industry is the largest in Taiwan and accounts for $300 billion, said Tsai while also noting that Taiwan is not great in software development.

TEEMA is also planning to set up a training and incubation centre in TEMC and the cluster is expected to be operational in the next six to 12 months.

Though Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra won over wooing Taiwanese electronic behemoths Xiaomi and Foxconn to set up their plants, Karnataka is pulling all stops to ensure other major Taiwanese firms like Getac Technology Corporation, MobileTron Electronics and Waffer Technology group will invest in the cluster.

Getac makes handheld devices and laptops for industrial and military use while MobileTron manufactures automotive electronics and Waffer makes components and systems for smart-phones and laptops.

Founded in 1948, TEEMA employs as many as 7,63,501 employees and manufactures semiconductors, optoelectronics, consumer electronics, heavy electric machinery, illumination devices, electrics wires and cables, automotive electronics and many others.

“Almost 98 percent of Taiwanese companies are SMEs, however, each SME is a global leader in its area of operation. If you take a Taiwanese capacitor manufacturer, it will be a world champion in making capacitors,” said Kim Y. C. Tsai, chairman, Mobiletron, a company which specializes in automotive electronics.

TEEMA member manufactured products are sourced by global technological giants like Apple, Samsung and many Indian electronic and hardware companies.

Most companies affiliated to TEEMA employ between 80,000 to 1 lakh employees.

“Taiwan is small country doing big things. Almost six to seven Indian states are always pursuing Taiwan for investments,” said Karnataka Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee.

All the 25 Taiwanese delegates who participated in signing the pact with Karnataka government on Wednesday represented the public sector with the possibility of private players also arriving in the future.

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