Trump Meets Modi at G20: Is 5G Manufacturing Moving to India?


Jun. 28 2019, Updated 12:58 p.m. ET

G20 Summit begins

The much-awaited G20 Summit began in Japan today. While markets are focused on tomorrow’s meeting between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, Trump held meetings with other world leaders today. Among those was the meeting with India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi.

This meeting has special significance, as the US and India are also currently locked in a less severe trade war. India recently levied tariffs on 28 American products including apples and almonds, in retaliation against the US’s decision to exclude India from the General System of Preferences, which allows tariff-free exports to the US.

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Trump and Modi discuss 5G

5G has been the center of attention in the US-China trade war. Last weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported that the US may make it mandatory to make 5G equipment outside China. In a meeting with Modi at the G20, Trump said, “In terms of trade, in terms of manufacturing, we would be discussing 5G.” That comment gave rise to hopes that 5G equipment manufacturing may be shifting to India.

If that happens, we may see higher FDI flows in the technology sector in India. Qualcomm (QCOM) may be doubling down on its current presence in India. Last year, Qualcomm announced that it will be building its biggest facility outside of the US in India. Qualcomm has also partnered with a Vietnamese company to manufacture 5G smartphones in Vietnam.

Broadcom (AVGO), Intel (INTC), and Micron (MU) have R&D presence in India. They would all like to leverage on that to shift manufacturing from China to India if the US requirement comes into play.


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