India may stop importing cell phones by '07
India could stop importing mobile phones by the second quarter of 2007 with telecom majors setting up their production units in the country, Union IT and Communications Minister Dayanidhi Maran said.
"Nokia is already producing over two million phones from its facility in Chennai every month and Motorola, which is expected to begin operations on January 14, 2007, is expected to produce about 1.3 million phones every month," he said.
Speaking at the Regional Annual Meeting of Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, Maran added that 80 per cent of mobile phones needed in the country will be manufactured in Chennai.
Maran said that Germany is India's fourth largest trading partner after the US, UK and Japan. "It has crossed record $8 billion last year. Indian imports grew by almost 35 per cent, while India's exports to Germany rose by 12 per cent."
He said that it was time for the small and medium entrepreneurs to make their mark in the Indo-German trade relations. He also called upon the German companies to participate in developing the infrastructure in the country.
Bernd Muetzelburg, Ambassador of Germany to India, said his country wanted India to continue the reforms process it started in the early 1990s.
He said India has to overcome the "red tapes" that still existed in its system.
"You will have to improve conditions for inclusive growth. Connect the 800 million people in villages with the 200 million who are enjoying the economic miracle that is happening in India," he added.