India’s import of laptops has increased by 42 per cent, from $2.97 billion to $ 4.21 billion, in value terms, in the last five years –– 87 per cent of which continues to come from China.

In absolute terms, India’s dependency on China is very high –– it has increased from $2.83 billion to $3.65 billion during the last five years, said a report by India Cellular & Electronics Association (ICEA) and EY on Wednesday.

For the financial year ending March 2021, India’s import of laptops is estimated to reach close to $5 billion, out of which imports from China is expected to be $4.35 billion, the report, titled ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat India’s turning point an agenda for manufacturing laptops and tablets for India and the world 2021-26 $100 billion opportunities’ said.

The report said the global manufacturing hubs are limited to a handful of countries, with China being the predominant supplier to the world — 66 per cent market share (2019), $100 billion in value. This shows there is tremendous scope for policy intervention to start manufacturing of laptops and tablets in India for domestic as well the global market, it said.

“This presents an opportunity for India to ramp up the export of ‘Made in India’ laptops and tablets. Making in India for the world and obtaining a sizable share of the global market will give us a manufacturing value of $100 billion by 2025. It will also create five lakh additional jobs and a cumulative inflow of foreign exchange to the tune of $75 billion and investment of over $1 billion,” said Pankaj Mohindroo, Chairman, ICEA.

At the same time, it would negate imports of targeted products from China leading to reduced trade deficit and greater self-reliance, he said.

‘More than phones’

“To reach the National Policy on Electronics (NPE) 2019 targets and for turning into the global manufacturing hub, we cannot depend on mobile phone manufacturing alone. We need to focus on the overall electronic sector, and personal computing devices present an excellent opportunity,” he added.

The report further said an appropriate incentive focussed on export-oriented manufacturing of laptops and tablets, should be offered, and calibrated, focussed policy interventions need to be made for the sector. This will help in offsetting the disabilities vis-à-vis China and Vietnam and encourage industry players to set up manufacturing facilities in India. It will be instrumental in achieving ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’ for the world and reduce dependency on China.

Given the present geopolitical situation, India has a strong opportunity to become a significant part of the global supply chain in electronics. This strategic objective may be achieved by becoming the hub for laptops and tablets and capturing 18 per cent of the global exports, the ICEA and EY report said.

The global market for electronics is around $2.1 trillion. Among electronic products, mobile phones, laptops and tablets serve as the primary instruments for communication. While several policy measures have been taken recently to promote the manufacturing and export of mobile phones, the report discusses about laptops and tablets in particular. The global market for these two products is expected to be around $220 billion per year over the next five years, while In India, the market size is estimated to continue to be around $7 billion for the same period.

ICEA represents mobile, electronics and component manufacturers such as Apple, Xiaomi, Motorola, Nokia, Foxconn, Wistron, Flextronics, Lava, Vivo, Motorola, Oppo, Realme, Micromax, Dixon and Salcomp.