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Apple, India talk plans for cooperation as Tim Cook, Modi meet

Apple and India have discussed ways to expand the tech giant's imprint in the 1.2 billion person market. Apple is looking to India's market for growth, while India wants to expand technology in its economy.

Apple CEO Tim Cook outlined plans to expand in the giant Indian market, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi pushed

the tech giant

to back his "Digital India" initiative in a meeting on Saturday.

Wrapping up a five-day visit to the country, Cook told Modi there was potential for the manufacture and retailing of Apple products in India, as well as "immense potential for app development," according to a statement from the prime minister's office.

Apple sells its products through third-parties and does not have its own retail stores in India. The Indian government is keen for Apple to manufacture some of its products in the 1.2 billion-person market in line with the "Make in India" initiative to foster domestic manufacturing.

Cook told Modi there was

a lot of talent in India

that Apple would like to utilize.

Cook also spoke about a new Apple mapping development office in Hyderabad that will create 4,000 jobs and an app design center the California-based tech giant will set up Bangalore, according to the statement.

Modi urged Apple to cooperate on his "Digital India" initiative, which focuses on e-education, health and increasing farmers' incomes. The initiative aims to turn India into a digital economy built on the information economy.

"Issues regarding cyber-security and data encryption also came up for discussion. The prime minister encouraged Mr Cook to help the global community to cope with the challenges of cybercrime," the statement said.

Cook's visit comes directly after a trip to China.

Apple is looking to overcome sluggish growth in saturated developed markets by

expanding into China

and India, where its technology penetration is low but has the potential to increase rapidly.

In India, the company has only about 1 percent of market share as the price of its products remain out of reach for ordinary Indians.

Only about 20 percent of India's 1.2 billion people are online.

cw/bw (AFP, AP, dpa)

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