© Flex General | November 04, 2019
Flex may deepen its pivot away from China
U.S. electronic component manufacturer Flex may be contemplating a more significant shift away from China in the form of a USD 50 million investment in India.
The move would be designed to expand the company’s already sizeable manufacturing capabilities in India and increase its exports from the South Asian nation to USD 12 billion over the next 12-18 months, representing a 20-fold increase, sources told the Economic Times, India. The Hindu BusinessLine is reporting a source as saying that Flex is looking at an expansion target of its export-oriented facilities of USD 1 billion in the next year alone. And that the company has committed to invest USD 50 million in the country within the near future. One source told ET, “The president of the company, Richard Hopkins, met with a string of Indian ministers including communications and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday and discussed how the company was exploring various geographies to shift production out of China.” Hopkins reportedly told Prasad that the USD 26 billion company could pivot a large chunk of its manufacturing to India. The discussion also included an “export roadmap” of components from India, requiring “specific support” from New Delhi, the source said. Flex is not alone in its desire to shift away from China amidst the ongoing trade war. In fact, India has been actively trying to lure companies who have historically relied on China to manufacture their products. But India as an alternative to China for manufacturing also has competitors, in the form of Vietnam and Malaysia, who are also trying to bolster their position as a manufacturing hub. Flex began manufacturing in India in 2001 and has a current workforce in the country of approximately 25,000 people. Electronics worth about USD 600 million are exported from 11 factories scattered across Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Gurgaon and Vishakhapatnam.
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