The government just relaxed FDI norms, which means India can now have Apple stores

Pranav Dixit June 20, 2016 1 min

Tim Cook can finally heave a sigh of relief. In an unprecedented move, the Indian government just relaxed foreign direct investment rules and permitted 100% FDI in single-brand retail trading in the country, among other sectors. What does this mean? Apple can finally open its iconic Apple Stores in India, something that it has been trying to do for more than a year now.

The decision to to revamp the country’s FDI policy was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, according to a press release from the Prime Minister’s office.

As FactorDaily reported exclusively last month, Apple planned to open official, 10,000-square foot stores at high street locations in Delhi, Bengaluru, and Mumbai by the end of 2017. A team of 40 Apple executives had been working out of a Gurugram office to make this happen. These plans, however, hit a roadblock when India’s Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) ruled that Apple must comply with local sourcing rules to sell products through its own retail stores.

According to the government’s new policy, local sourcing norms have now been relaxed up to three years, and up to an additional five years for companies such as Apple, whose products are ‘state-of-the-art’ and ‘cutting edge’

Apple stores around the world are famous for letting people walk in and experience most Apple products in person. They also serve as important points of contact for after-sales service and support of Apple products.

In addition to single-brand retail, the government now also permits 100% FDI in civil aviation, airports, pharmaceuticals, animal husbandry, and defence.

Also read: What Tim Cook needs from India to sell more iPhones in the country