More TV makers in India move to import from SE Asia: press report

10, Jul. 2019

By Atul Ranjan

NEW DELHI, NNA - More television manufacturers operating in India are looking to import from production centers in Southeast Asia rather than produce locally, to take advantage of India’s free trade agreement with the region, the Economic Times reported on Monday, quoting industry executives.

The import duty on TVs from countries with no free trade deal with India is 20 percent. The report said the Indian government maintained a five-percent tariff on open cell television panels in its budget unveiled last week.

Quoting unnamed industry executives, the report said Sony Corp. in India is considering importing TVs from Vietnam as it is already sourcing from Thailand through the FTA route and has also moved some local production to Malaysia.

It said India’s largest TV maker, Samsung Electronics Co., stopped local production last year and started sourcing from Vietnam.

The Indian government reported last week that TV imports from Vietnam had surged to a value of 23.17 billion rupees ($338 million) in the year ended in March, from 620 million rupees the previous year.

The India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) had asked the government earlier this year to suspend imports from Vietnam for three months.

“Concerned over this growing import from Vietnam, we wrote to the government in January this year seeking investigation into the matter,” ICEA Chairman Pankaj Mohindroo told NNA last week.

“Imports from Vietnam are rampant at the moment,” he said. “India has been very badly impacted by this. Even mobile phone components and telecom equipment are coming from there in huge quantity.”

The government says it has taken several steps to promote domestic manufacturing of televisions, including rationalizing the tariff structure and excluding flat panel TVs from the duty-free allowance.

“As a result, about 80 percent of the domestic demand of televisions is being met by domestic production,” it said.

In the last fiscal year, 12 million of total domestic demand of 15 million television sets were made in India, according to India’s Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association.