President joins Lee Jae-yong at Samsung factory opening in India

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Now, having expanded to over 140,000 square meters, it is due to be opened by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

According to a statement from Samsung, the factory will help almost double its output of mobile devices in India from 68 million units a year to a whopping 120 million units a year.

He said it is a matter of pride that India is home to the world's largest Samsung unit. Over 30 per cent of the production at Samsung's Noida manufacturing facility will be exported. "We are aligned with government policies and will continue to seek their support to achieve our dream of making India a global export hub for mobile phones", H C Hong, Chief Executive Officer, Samsung India, said.

The South Korean electronics giant had past year announced a fresh investment of Rs 4,915 crore to expand the existing plant by another 35 acres.

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Speaking on the occasion, Modi lauded South Korea for its participation in the "Make in India" mission, which, he said, has created many employment opportunities in India.

Samsung was the top-selling smartphone brand in India for years, but it was beaten by China's Xiaomi in the Indian market between October and December last year.

Samsung's Noida plant, set up in 1996, has been manufacturing smartphones, refrigerators and flat-screen televisions. I am delighted that Korean companies are taking part in this fast-paced India.

Samsung is being viewed as perfectly positioned now to take full advantage of India's rapidly growing demand for smartphones.

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"As you may well know, the Moon Jae-in government is building a cooperative relationship with India and Asean, which are thought to be the next China, while upgrading the country's relationship with India and Asean countries to the level of its ties with the four super powers", Mr Kim said, according to Yonhap. That leaves about 875 million people who could buy their first smartphone sometime within the next few years.

"I am committed to raise relations with India to the level of those with our four major powers around the Korean peninsula", Moon said, adding that this commitment was embodied in his new southern policy outlined previous year.

The firm said it has been manufacturing mobile phones in India since 2007, and has also been populating Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) since its inception, in line with the Centre's phased manufacturing programme.

Along with bringing jobs, such localized manufacturing could also go a ways toward helping bring the cost of devices down.

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"It's a move that'll obviously play well for Samsung but it also gives a much-needed shot in the arm to India's mobile manufacturing ecosystem as it will push rivals to consider expanding local production", said Navkendar Singh, an associate research director at International Data Corporation.

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