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Moon Jae-in, President of South Korea, has taken a trip to India to open the world's largest smartphone factory with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Samsung India CEO HC Hong described the factory as a "symbol of Samsung's strong commitment to India and a shining example of the success of the government's "Make in India" program", referring to Modi's initiative to encourage global companies to invest in manufacturing operations in the country. Seoul's presidential office also said that Moon briefed Swaraj on the idea of "partnership for people, mutual prosperity and peace" that he plans to present to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their summit scheduled for Tuesday.

"This is an important step towards making India a manufacturing hub", the prime minister said of the USD$750 million factory investment. "It makes sense for Samsung to build a bigger manufacturing base here", Jaipal Singh, Senior Market Analyst, IDC, told IANS.

The mobile phone plant can produce almost 12 crore mobile phones every year, and will create 15,000 job opportunities. The facility will manufacture 1 crore units per month with around 30% of the production will be exported to countries in Middle East and African region.

Located in Noida on the outskirts of New Delhi, the new facility will give Samsung the ability to output handsets at an unprecedented rate - said to be up to 120 million smartphones a year.


It's also expected to help Samsung better compete with rivals like China's Xiaomi, which became India's biggest smartphone brand by shipments earlier this year. More than 120 local factories now assemble mobile phones and accessories like chargers, batteries, powerbanks and earphones in India, according to tech research firm Counterpoint.

"Whenever I talk to business community representatives, I always mention one thing that I don't think there is a middle-class home in India where a Korean product is not found", he added.

In the smartphone segment, Xiaomi maintained its lead in the first quarter with a record 31% market share followed by Samsung (26%), vivo (6%), OPPO (6%), and Honor (3%). More than 10 percent of its total production now takes place in India - but that figure could rise to 50 percent within the next three years if everything goes to plan.

A DMRC spokesman said the leaders boarded a Metro train at Mandi House station at around 4:36 pm and travelled up to Botanical Garden station on the Blue Line.

Moon, who was on his first visit to India since being elected president a year ago, sought an expansion of trade and economic ties with India. Currently, it's manufacturing 67 million smartphones.


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