Nokia phone maker HMD looks to set up production in Europe

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HMD Global, licensee of Nokia-brand smartphones, has announced that it is developing capabilities and processes to bring 5G device production to Europe this year.

Currently, Europe has no big smartphone manufacturing presence, as all the major companies, such as Apple and Samsung, tend to manufacture their phones in Asia where costs are lower.

Based in Finland, HMD said it was working with a number of IT security partners on software modifications and thorough testing as the first stages of manufacturing and testing smartphones in Europe. However, it has yet to reveal where in Europe it plans to setup its factory.

The European Union has been encouraging companies to set up production in key sectors, and has introduced a series of laws and offered a number of subsidies as the bloc did for semiconductors with the European Chips Act to encourage investment.

Speaking to Reuters, the company’s chief marketing officer, Lars Silberbauer, said, "While we can't discuss specific European subsidies, we collaborate with multiple parties in both the public and private sector in Europe to advocate for European manufacturing and R&D."

HMD signed an exclusive 10-year licensing agreement with Nokia to make Nokia-branded smartphones and tablets in 2016, after the company had sold its entire handset business to Microsoft in 2014.