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Taiwan firms stay bullish on India, ignore Wistron incident as minor blip on radar

Taiwan’s interest in India as an investment destination has remained undented despite the instance of vandalism at Wistron Corp’s Narasapura facility near Bengaluru. Sources said that the two-day Taiwan Expo, a business to business platform, that was held virtually in New Delhi on December 16-17 had little mention of the incident.

While initial reports suggested that the company may have incurred a loss of about Rs 437 crore due to the incident, Wistron India managing director Sudipto Gupta in a filing to the exchanges said that the damages are in the range of Rs 27-52 core.

“While such incidents do leave a bad taste and can prove to be detrimental to the country’s business climate, we are happy that the Wistron case has not escalated and is getting resolved fast,” an insider said. Both the central government as well as the state government sprung into action to resolve the situation.

Baushuan Ger, Representative of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in India said that Taiwan would be an “ideal candidate” for Make-In India policy.

“Foreign investors including Taiwanese companies are upbeat about India, we are confident that many more companies will come forth to invest here,” Deepak Bagla, MD and CEO, Invest India told IndiaNarrative.com. Bangla said that Invest India is in talks with several Taiwanese companies who have evinced interest in investing in India.

Invest India is the nodal body facilitating fresh investment in the country. It has set up a new mechanism under the umbrella ‘Taiwan Plus’ to help and handhold Taiwanese companies set up shop here.

<strong>Wake up call</strong>

Representatives of India Inc opined that such instances could dampen the investment environment of the country, especially at a time when India is trying to woo investors – both foreign and domestic and boost its manufacturing sector.

“While the incident is expected to get resolved soon, it is also a wake up signal to us to ensure that these instances do not recur,” a person familiar with the development said.

Wistron is the manufacturer of Apple’s i-phone. The facility at Narasapura, spread over 43 acres, was opened only in July.

The violence took place on Saturday by some workers who alleged that the company had not paid their dues. Though Wistron has denied such allegations, Apple has launched an investigation into the matter. However, insiders said that there is a possibility that the third party contractors that work with Wistron have delayed in clearing dues to the employees.

Quess Corp, Adecco and Innov are among the third party contractors.

<strong>China’s reaction</strong>

The Chinese media was quick to react. The Paper, a Chinese digital newspaper, published by the Shanghai United Media Group said that India’s aim to replace the Chinese in manufacturing would remain a dream.

According to Taiwan News, “in a racially charged report” The Paper, known to be pro-Beijing in its outlook said “the incident has highlighted significant problems in India that prevent it from becoming a manufacturing powerhouse.” The report by the Chinese news organisation claimed that Indian workers are known for their laziness and low salaries.

“It is no surprise that the Chinese media reacted in this manner. Beijing is keen on dampening India’s ambition of becoming a manufacturing hub especially at a time when several companies are keen to shift their manufacturing facilities outside China,” an industry source said.