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India, the world's second biggest smartphone market and home to more than a billion wireless subscribers, is a big opportunity for Samsung where sluggish smartphone earnings growth has fuelled concerns that its mobile business is running out of ideas to underpin sales of its premium Galaxy devices.

President Moon Jae-in and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi in New Delhi on Monday.

As of now, Samsung has two manufacturing units in India: Besides Noida, they have a unit in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu and 5 research and development centres. In a statement issued then, Samsung said: "The expansion of the plant on an additional 35 acres of land adjacent to the current facility will double the production capacity of both mobile phones and refrigerators".

The Indian mobile phone market grew by 48% YoY in the first quarter of 2018, driven by strong demand from the featurephone segment.

Demand for new mobile phones is surging in India, helped in part by billionaire Mukesh Ambani offering US$23 4G feature phones, free voice services and cheap data plans.

"The visit to India and Singapore by the head of state marks a move towards launching the New Southern Policy in earnest", Mr Kim Hyun-chong told reporters, referring to President Moon's key foreign policy that seeks to greatly enhance the country's relationship with India and 10 members of the Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean).

Built in 1996, the Noida factory was one of the first global electronics manufacturing facilities established in India, according to the firm.

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. The Samsung's new unit is also expected to create employment for more than 5000 people.

"The new facility with give direct jobs to 1,000 people, taking the existing workforce at this plant to 6,000". Prime Minister Modi is credited with starting the "Made in India" initiative, which is attracting overseas investors including Xiaomi and fellow smartphone-maker Oppo.

Last June, Samsung announced an investment of ₹4,915 crore to add new capacity at the Noida plant.

India now counts about 400 million smartphone users out of its population of 1.3 billion people, meaning there's still a vast amount of potential consumers to draw from, the Verge noted.

70,000 employees are now working for Samsung, and they are looking forward to expand their offline presence to 1.5 lakh retail outlets.


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