Nikon seeks lower import duties in India

June 11th, 2009 - 9:08 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 11 (IANS) Digital imaging products manufacturer Nikon Corp is hoping for a reduction in countervailing duty and additional duty in the 2009-10 budget to enable it stay more competitive against grey market products being sold in India.
“Sales as much as 30 percent are impacted due to cheaper alternatives in the black market. We are hoping to see relaxation in the rate in the coming budget, which can help in boosting sales,” Nikon’s country managing director Hidehiko Tanaka told IANS Thursday.

Countervailing duty is imposed when a foreign country subsidises its exports, hurting domestic producers in the importing country. Countervailing duty is currently pegged at 8 percent and the additional duty at 4 percent.

The Nikon brand, which has been officially present in India for the last two years, sells about 70,000 compact digital cameras and about 4,500 SLR cameras annually.

Although the company has no plans to set up a manufacturing facility in India in near future, Tanaka said, it would “soon” look at opening a research and development (R&D) unit for its software in the country.

India’s one-million-unit camera market has a huge growth potential and the company will invest in a manufacturing facility once the numbers are high enough, Tanaka said.

“For now we are looking at capturing a 10 percent share of the compact market which is pegged to grow to 1.3 million units this year,” he added.

The company is planning to spend as much as 60 percent of its marketing expenses on launching shop-in-shop outlets and education activities. The first of such outlets was launched in Delhi Thursday.

Nikon will open 100 such outlets by year-end, Tanaka said.

“We will also add about 20-25 SLR zones for selling professional photography equipment. We hope to see the SLR market grow.”

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