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Indian IT Minister Says Apple Plans To Make iPhones In Bengaluru

The statement welcomed "Apple Inc.’s proposal to commence initial manufacturing operations in the state," but offered virtually no other details.

Posted on February 2, 2017, at 1:49 p.m. ET

Priyank Kharge, Minister IT & BT || Tourism : Govt of Karnataka / Via Twitter: @PriyankKharge

Apple's plans to pursue iPhone manufacturing operations in India seem to be moving along well. In a statement issued to Bengaluru's local press late on Thursday, the IT minister of the Indian state of Karnataka, Priyank Kharge, said he welcomed "Apple Inc.’s proposal to commence initial manufacturing operations in the state."

Kharge followed the statement with a pair of tweets. The first said simply, "Glad to announce initial manufacturing operations of the world's most valued company: Apple, in Karnataka. Another validation for Karnataka." The second tweet was a bit more specific: "Apple's intentions to make iPhones in Bengaluru will foster cutting-edge technology ecosystem & supply chain development in the state."
(Update: Kharge has deleted his first tweet. He did not respond to BuzzFeed News' requests for comment.)

Kharge offered no other details on the proposal.

Apple has been in talks with the Indian government about manufacturing locally for months, and had asked India for major incentives, including a 15-year exemption on customs duty among other things.

IMP Apple news. Karnataka Govt's first official statement on Apple plans to manufacture in India. Will assemble iPh…

Twitter: @chandrarsrikant

Apple declined comment on the minister's statement, but instead pointed BuzzFeed News to a statement it issued a few weeks ago: "We've been working hard to develop our operations in India and are proud to deliver the best products and services in the world to our customers here. We appreciate the constructive and open dialogue we’ve had with government about further expanding our local operations.”

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.