In a win-win strategy, India is exploring its bilateral ties with Taiwan for electronics, telematics, EV components and infotainment.

Story by: Team ACI

Indian companies are hedging the trade dynamism with China, with a China plus one strategy. It has translated to India working on bilateral ties with other partner nations, in a win-win strategy. Its ties with Taiwan, for instance, are known to have gained traction over the past decade with several agreements including investments, industrial cooperation, SME cooperation and customs cooperation signed. In 2018, a bilateral trade agreement was signed between both countries, in a move looked at as a means to encourage a two-way investment flow. A great impetus has since been laid on protecting Taiwanese investments in India, in line with the international standards. Taking a leaf out of the cooperation between the two countries, the Auto Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA) played its part in exploring potential areas of cooperation. Scouting for organic collaborations in the domain of automotive electronics, telematics, EV components and infotainment, a first of its kind virtual expo marked a step in the right direction.  On one hand, 25 Indian companies showcased their capabilities and on the other hand, 15 Taiwanese companies are said to have showcased their capabilities with another 60 visiting the matchmaking event. Sunjay Kapur, Vice President, ACMA and Chairman, Sona Comstar expressed hope in the two countries contributing to technological collaborations.

A red carpet welcome

India has welcomed investments in its value chain. Sumita Dawra, Joint Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) said, “With the outbreak, the challenges for India and the global economy can be dealt with localisation.” “We are rolling out the red carpet for investors and supporting the call to ‘Invest in India’ and ‘Make in India’ with initiatives like the development of 3400 industrial parks,” she averred. Praising Taiwan as the hub for electronics and telematics, she invited companies from Taiwan to consider India for setting up local auto component units. Vikrampati Singhania, Managing Director of JK Fenner (India) Ltd., pointed at the supply chain undergoing a massive transition. “We will have new partnerships and innovations out of this potential long term partnership,” he exclaimed. He cited it as a step in the right direction, especially as a means to de-risk the automotive supply chain.

Vinnie Mehta, Director General, ACMA

Wu Ching-Yuan, Chairman, Taiwan Transportation Vehicle Manufacturers Association echoed similar sentiments as he focused on expansion. “India plays a key role in the global automotive market and Taiwan is a leader in the smart vehicle segment,” he stated. Vinnie Mehta, Director General, ACMA asserted the underlying benefits of the partnership to the Indian auto components industry which according to him stands to benefit from Taiwan’s expertise. “We import electronic items at 15-25 per cent average overall. With EVs on the anvil, this is only bound to increase manifolds, presenting Taiwan a huge opportunity,” he opined.

Nishant Arya, Executive Director, JBM Group drew attention to the focus on e-mobility and companies with a high degree of localisation staring at a greater possibility of realising growth. Citing Taiwan Government’s efforts in e-mobility, Denise Hung, of Taiwan’s Automotive Research and Testing Center (ARTC) said, “Our government grants an exemption for EVs from commodity taxes and license taxes”. She gave the example of incentivising e-scooter purchase and charging station installations to support the claim. The Taiwanese government is known to have released the e-scooter standard way back in 2009 where the basic criteria was stipulated, according to Hung.

On the Indian side

India’s EV potential is believed to be largely untapped. With a public policy deemed to be in favour of aiding the swift EV revolution, Amit Dakshini, Director, Management Consulting, PwC India, opined, the EV adoption in the country would be led by e-rickshaws and two-wheelers besides the new model launches from incumbents and mature startups. Citing a major challenge in infrastructure, Dakshini doled out a statistic of India having 24 charging stations per 1000 EVs relative to 125 charging stations per 1000, in China. He also blamed the high component imports like batteries and parts for OEMs failing to attain the benefits from economies of scale.

Betting on the indigenous supply chains doing the trick for India, he praised the Indian government for a holistic approach and the integrated measures seen as having a potential of transforming the e-mobility landscape. Citing electronics as the fastest-growing category in the automotive Bill of Materials (BoM), he mentioned, the partnership had the potential to support the electronic components supply ecosystem in multiple ways. Ian Yang, Chief Operating Officer at ZEPT Inc, specialising in the development and manufacture of electric powertrains, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles came forward to help Indian companies as a supplier of e-drive systems and platforms in an attempt to help overcome the voids in the supply chain. Yang showcased the ZEPT EDM1P95, a three in one design concept involving a motor, gearbox and microcontroller unit.

Jin Chi, Senior Sales Representative in Delta with its e-mobility solutions projected the two-wheeler and three-wheeler EV market in India to be 3.5 million units strong by 2025. The company is known to be developing charging infrastructure and battery swapping stations. Stanley Wang, Deputy Director-General, International Division, Institute for Information Industry (III) expressed confidence in the win-win strategy of working closely to grow in the segment. It has the potential to better the future mobility solutions in the two countries, concluded Wang. ACI

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