Himanik Sharma, Reuters:
The new rules exempt foreign retailers for three years from a requirement to source 30 percent of the goods sold in company-owned stores locally.[…]
The retail rule changes are also likely to help Swedish furniture-retailer IKEA[…]
The new directive paves the way for Apple to resubmit its application and rapidly start retail stores in India. It can also seek an additional exemption for five years if it convinces the government its products meet the “cutting edge” criteria.
A snippet from what I’d written when this policy was still a rumour:
Also, on the off-chance that it happens: If you read a story tomorrow that reads ‘Indian Government waives local-sourcing norms for Apple’, you know which way the scales tipped.
You should read that piece for what I think of this three-year relaxation business. The ‘five years possible if it can be proven that products are “state of the art”’ perogative amuses me. I think that clause — the ‘state of art’ bit — is solely in place so the decision is in the hands of the Indian government and not set in stone.
This news doesn’t definitively imply that Apple’s opening stores in India, just that they have a better reason to do so. Personally, I think Apple will take the deal in all its ‘only three years…okay?’ goodness. The Indian government wouldn’t have a rule in effect if it didn’t know — somehow — that Apple would agree; it’s been almost two weeks since this change was rumoured, probably time to size up Apple’s response.
(Meanwhile somewhere, in some remote corner of Delhi, a 20s-something guy smirks to himself, reading the story as, ‘Apple, we would really like you to be on-board; in fact, here’s a policy we made you.’)