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The Nokia licensee says that European production is a “security” step.

HMD Global, one of the largest Nokia production partners, has announced that it plans to set up smartphone production facilities in Europe, according to Reuters.

This marks the first major smartphone production capabilities in Europe, as most manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung make their phones in Asia in order to control costs. The move is no doubt welcome in the European Union, as the bloc has recently seen manufacturing leaving the continent due to high energy costs and the lure of generous subsidies in the USA.

HMD made the announcement at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The company unveiled its plans in a wide-ranging press release. “In a move to further strengthen its security promises, HMD Global takes the first steps in a journey to become the first major global smartphone provider to bring manufacturing to Europe”, the announcement reads. “In the first stage of this journey, the company is developing capabilities and processes to bring 5G Nokia device production to Europe in 2023”.

“Security and transparency” are priorities

Apparently security is a concern and played a role in HMD’s decision. “These new developments are a continuation of HMD Global’s commitment to conducting secure and transparent operations in Europe”, the company said.

Finland-based HMD did not disclose where in Europe it plans to setup its factory, but explained that 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.

EU subsidies played a key role in decision

The European Union has been encouraging companies to set up production in key sectors, Reuters noted. The bloc has introduced laws and offered major subsidies as the bloc did for semiconductors with the European Chips Act.

“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 chief marketing officer Lars Silberbauer told Reuters.