The Telegraph
Friday , July 25 , 2014
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Bengal bets on electronics

Amit Mitra (left) with Dong Seok Choi in Calcutta on Thursday. Picture by Rashbehari Das

Calcutta, July 24: Bengal has set an ambitious target to garner a 10 per cent share of the country’s electronics production from around 4 per cent at present. However, the state has not set a a time frame to reach this target.

The state is targeting the third slot in electronics system design and manufacturing (ESDM), IT and ITeS by 2020 and the key areas of focus will be lighting, smart meters, security systems manufacturing, LCD, plasma device and solar photovoltaics.

State IT and industries minister Amit Mitra has sought Korean and Taiwanese expertise and investments to drive competition in electronics. Members of the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) were taken on a recce of the electronics manufacturing cluster being set up on 70 acres at Naihati today. A second cluster, spread across 58 acres, is on the anvil at Falta.

“Three major segments by 2020 will be telecom production and equipment, semi conductor design and IT systems and hardware. Yes, the state’s share in national electronics goods output is rather small at approximately 4 per cent. And I would like to submit that we must target 10 per cent within a very short, well planned period of time,” Mitra said. He was speaking at the India ESDM conclave organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce here today.

Indian electronics hardware production constitutes only 1.31 per cent of the global production. By 2020, India’s electronic imports are likely to reach $400 billion.

The domestic electronics industry is projected to grow 22 per cent a year, which is seven times the average global growth rate.

According to Dong Seok Choi, chief director-general of KOTRA, the proposed Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar economic corridor will be an obvious target of South Korean investors. Bengal could also serve as a prospective hub.