Samsung has formally opened what it calls the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturing plant, in Noida, near the Indian capital of New Delhi, as it looks to double its production in the world’s second biggest smartphone market.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting South Korean president Moon Jae-in inaugurated the factory, which Samsung said is the world’s biggest by monthly device production.
The company makes 67 million smartphones a year in India and expects to nearly double that to 120 million when the expansion is complete.
India represents 10 percent of global smartphone sales and is the world’s fastest-growing market in the sector, rising from 299 million users in 2017 to an expected 340 million this year. By 2022 the country is expected to hit 442 million users.
It already has more than a billion wireless subscribers.
Samsung said last year it would invest Rs 49.2bn (£540m) over three years into expanding the production unit, which it plans to use for exports to Europe, West Asia and Africa as well as India.
“This 50 billion-rupee investment will not only strengthen Samsung’s business ties in India, it will also play a key role in India-Korea relations,” Modi said at the inauguration, Reuters reported.
The new unit adds an additional 35 acres and doubles production capacity for both mobile phones and refrigerators, Samsung said.
The company, which has been assembling devices in India since 2007, plans to assemble parts sourced from other facilities at the expanded plant.
Modi’s government has imposed taxes on the importation of key smartphone components in order to encourage more manufacturing jobs in the country.
More than 120 factories in India now assemble mobile phones and accessories such as chargers, batteries, powerbanks and earphones, according to Counterpoint.
IDC said the new Noida facility would boost Samsung as well as India’s mobile phone manufacturing ecosystem.
The factory should also help Samsung compete with China’s Xiaomi, which quickly rose to become India’s top smartphone brand by shipments earlier this year.