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Indian Trade Ministry authorities talking local manufacturing with Apple

In recent weeks, senior officials from India's Trade Ministry have met with Apple to discuss prospects for setting up manufacturing in the country, a report said on Tuesday.

The company sent a letter to the Indian government last month outlining its plans and asking for financial incentives, two government officials told the Wall Street Journal. The appropriate departments are "looking into" Apple's demands, one of the officials said.

Word of Apple seeking handouts first emerged in early November, but the latest developments suggest that the Indian government is seriously considering the company's proposals in a bid to lure jobs and investment.

For Apple, local production will be necessary if it wants a chance at opening retail stores in the country. Even recently-loosened regulations dictate that foreign, single-brand retailers must source at least 30 percent of their materials from Indian vendors after three years, and so far very little of Apple's supply has come from the region.

Since Apple itself is unlikely to operate any factories, the company is presumably hedging its bets on Foxconn, its main assembly partner which is already said to be pursuing an Apple-oriented factory.