Tim Cook in India

Apple is one step closer to opening first-party retail stores in India, its increasingly significant market with population of 1.3 billion people, with a new Bloomberg report claiming that India’s finance minister Arun Jaitley has approved a proposal that clarifies how Apple could open retail stores without initially having to source components locally.

Last month, the cabinet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved a three-year extension on local-sourcing rules that require foreign firms wanting to run their own local retail stores to source at least 30 percent of components within the populous country.

The proposal would let India’s Information Technology Ministry label a retailer of a single brand as a “provider of cutting-edge technology,” basically giving Apple a three-year exemption from local sourcing rules imposed on foreign retailers.

Appel can now reapply to open stores in India with “greater odds of winning the waiver” because of the latest decision. The move is an effort to clear up the confusion whether or not Apple products are cutting edge. Thus far, the Cupertino firm has sold its products in India through local retailers and partners, such as Redington India Ltd.

Source: Bloomberg