February 27, 2020 / 12:14 PM / a month ago

IKEA won't raise prices in India following import tax hike: executive

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Ikea is seen outside the Ikea Concept store, run by Inter Ikea brand and concept in Delft, the Netherlands March 16, 2016. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Sweden’s IKEA is not planning to increase prices in India in the short term, following India’s move to raise import taxes on goods such as furniture, a company executive said on Thursday.

The world’s biggest furniture brand, which launched in India in 2018, has invested more than $1.7 billion in the country, betting on its burgeoning middle class. IKEA imports roughly 75% of the goods it sells in India.

“We will not increase prices towards our brand consumers because we say we would be affordable,” Peter Betzel, IKEA India’s managing director, said at a conference in India’s financial capital of Mumbai.

“We are disappointed by the tariffs and it will have a negative impact on business, but we can’t quantify it,” Betzel said.

India this month announced higher taxes on imports of goods such as electronic items, toys and furniture, in a move aimed at boosting domestic manufacturing. [nL4N2A10BI]

The import tax on furniture including seats, lamps and mattresses will be raised to 25% from 20%, the government said in its 2020/21 federal budget.

IKEA is in talks with India on the tariffs, Betzel said, adding that the government was “very open”.

When asked about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on business, Betzel said IKEA’s supply chain had not been disrupted, without elaborating.

Writing by Sachin Ravikumar; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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