India’s visa curbs for Chinese workers hurting Taiwan tech giants

Geopolitical tensions between India and China are beginning to hurt some of Taiwan’s biggest technology companies, including suppliers to Apple Inc. and hindering New Delhi’s much-vaunted incentive program for electronics manufacturing.

India has been slow to issue visas to Chinese engineers, who are needed to help Taiwanese companies set up factories in the South Asian nation, people with knowledge of the matter said. India is also nudging companies to opt for the more difficult to obtain employment permits, they added, asking not to be identified discussing a private matter.

The wrangling may delay Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to bolster India’s manufacturing capacity and deter overseas investors, who invested $30 billion in the six months to September, with the maximum foreign direct investment flowing in the computer hardware and software sector. The companies are looking to India to diversify their supply chains. Modi has banned hundreds of Chinese apps and slowed approvals for Chinese investment after a deadly clash along the disputed border between the two neighbors left 20 Indian and an unknown number of Chinese soldiers dead.

Last year, companies such as iPhone assemblers — Foxconn Technology Group, Pegatron Corp., and Wistron Corp. — along with many others pledged $1.5 billion to set up mobile-phone plants in India after the Modi government offered them specially-designed incentives to manufacture their products locally for global export. The move was also expected to shift supply lines to India from China.

Visas are an important resource to help expand domestic manufacturing and the “government has to balance its existing policies with the genuine and short-term requirements of technical manpower for setting up new factories,” said Pankaj Mohindroo, chairman of the India Cellular and Electronics Association. “We are hopeful that this issue will be addressed soon to everyone’s satisfaction soon.”

As tensions with China escalated along their Himalayan border over the summer last year, New Delhi stepped up curbs on Chinese activity in the country, adding extra scrutiny for visas for Chinese businessmen, academics, industry experts, and advocacy groups. The measures are similar to those that have long been employed with arch-rival and neighbor Pakistan.

Apart from the delays in granting visas the Indian government has indicated a preference for issuing employment visas instead of business visas for people required to set up the production lines that are being imported by companies, the people said.

Employment visas typically require more paperwork and background checks from India’s home ministry, and could therefore be the reason for India’s insistence. Business visas are also shorter duration.

Companies have balked at the employment permits because it increases costs. It will also lead to double taxation for engineers and technicians since they will continue to be employed by their respective companies in China. Skilled professionals and experts are also needed for training and guidance on machines that are being installed for the first time in the country along with specialists to monitor the entire process.

The development comes at a time when New Delhi is under pressure to boost growth in Asia’s third-largest economy which is set for its worst annual contraction since 1952 with millions losing their jobs and being pushed into poverty due to the pandemic.

The incentive program for mobile-makers alone envisages the production of smartphones worth 10.5 trillion rupees and exports of 6.5 trillion rupees over the next five years. It is likely to create over 800,000 jobs.

The New Delhi-based Taipei Economic Cultural Center and spokespersons for the department of industry, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the foreign ministry did not immediately comment on the matter. China’s Foreign Ministry also didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment. Wistron and Pegatron declined to comment while Foxconn did not respond to emailed questions.

India and China have begun pulling back their troops from a part of their disputed border after several rounds of military and diplomatic talks. However, disengagement of troops from other contentious areas along the unmarked border is yet to happen.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Images are for reference only.Images and contents gathered automatic from google or 3rd party sources.All rights on the images and contents are with their original owners.

Follow Chetas Foundation

Follow this NGO if you are interested in Smart cities,Good Governance,Defending Nation,Cyber Security.If you have anything to do with anyone who works for the government at any level, You should follow this NGO.

Opsec Research

Follow this think tank if you work, know or interested in working and knowing about all the international, transnational and global governance,diplomatic relations,world peace and security.

Follow Pune Media on Linkedin

Follow Pune Media

Follow Pune Media for their latest positive coverage,breaking news,polls and much more.

Follow Khumaer Bayas

Follow this account if you want to get the glimpses of things to come, watch interactions with movers and shakers of the world. and in general be updated on issues like #natsec,#opsec,#intsec,#intelissexy the account is followed by few but professional organizations and personnel.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.