Gujarat in Talks With Foxconn for Semiconductor Plant Days After Vedanta JV Falls Apart

India’s Gujarat state is holding talks with Foxconn over a semiconductor plant, a top government official told Reuters, days after the Taiwanese giant broke off a joint-venture plan with India’s Vedanta.

“We are in touch with multiple prospective investors, including Foxconn … Gujarat is uniquely positioned to attract top chipmakers,” said Vijay Nehra, secretary of the science and technology department in Gujarat.

Foxconn this week exited its project with Vedanta, which was also planned for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat, citing issues such as slow progress.

The breakup of the JV was a setback for Modi’s vision to establish India as a semiconductor manufacturing hub. However, Foxconn said later it would apply for India chip incentives on its own and was exploring new partners.

Foxconn did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Reuters is first to report its talks with Gujarat.

Modi wants to make chipmaking a top priority in pursuit of a “new era” in electronics manufacturing, but his plan has floundered so far.

Three companies applied for incentives last year — the Vedanta-Foxconn JV, Singapore-based IGSS Ventures and global consortium ISMC, which counts Tower Semiconductor as a tech partner — but so far no deal has been sealed.

Explaining the Vedanta split on Tuesday, Foxconn said “there was recognition from both sides that the project was not moving fast enough” and there were other “challenging gaps we were not able to smoothly overcome”, without giving more details.

V. Lee, Foxconn’s representative in India, wrote on LinkedIn: “Sometimes, you will fly higher when in solo.”

Its talks with Gujarat come weeks after Micron Technology said it will invest up to $825 million (nearly Rs. 6,800 crore) in a semiconductor testing and packaging facility in the state.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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