NEW DELHI (AP) — Nokia Corp. Thursday said it plans to make its manufacturing plant in India, now the second-largest market for its handsets, a global hub for exports.
''We are exporting to 58 countries from the India plant and we are looking at this (unit) as a global plant for global operations,'' President and Chief Executive Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo told reporters.
Nokia, which set up a phone making plant near the southern city of Chennai in 2006, has already made 60 million handsets in 18 months, Kallasvuo said.
The world's largest handset maker by volume also said India has already over taken the United States to emerge as the largest market for Nokia handsets, after China, he said citing data for the first half of the year.
''Out of 185 million mobile phone users in India, 85 million use Nokia phones,'' said D. Shivkumar, managing director at Nokia's India unit said.
India's mobile market is one of the fastest growing in the world, fueled by low tariffs and rising middle-class incomes.