China Solar Panel Makers Invest in India to Counter Import Controls

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Amid the recent trade controls on solar panel manufacturers by governments in several nations, notably the U.S., numerous manufacturers in China are considering migrating to countries that favor imports. LONGi Solar Technology Co, Ltd., one of the leading Chinese solar panel manufacturers based in Xi’an, announced on February 7 that it seeks to expand its production and manufacturing facilities in India by investing a substantial sum of US$309 million. Of note, the announcement has been triggered by the decision of the U.S. President on January 24 to impose extra import duty of 30% on solar photovoltaic (PV) modules.

China PV Manufacturers find India and Malaysia as Promising Markets to Bolster Sales

For quite some time, Chinese solar panels manufacturers have been dominating the global landscape. This has caused worrying concerns among several countries, including the U.S., parts of Europe, and India, who contend that inexpensive exports tend to hurt domestic manufactures as well as end up adversely impacting jobs. According to LONGi, though international markets account for mere 10% of their sales, the company has reiterated that it looks forward to expand its sales globally by discouraging anti-dumping policies in various parts of the world. To this end, it considers India and Malaysia as lucrative avenues.

Wary of Low-Prices Imports Hurting Domestic Economy India Mulls 70% Safeguard Tariff

The Chinese PV manufacturer has already set up a production plant in India in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The Chinese Government has been echoing concerns that undue import trade controls on PV panels will severely impede the adoption of renewable energy world over. The global solar industry considers India as one of the most lucrative markets, attracting investments from numerous foreign solar PV manufacturers. However, the Indian Government has been skeptical of the inroads made by low-priced Chinese imports. To counter this, the Minister of Finance of India is mulling imposition of 70% tariff, popularly reckoned as “safeguard tariff”, on solar equipment and panels from China as well as Malaysia.

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