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Aequs Private Limited is investing $500 million to build India’s first toy manufacturing cluster across a 400-acre plot at Koppal in Karnataka, reports Economic Times.

India’s toy imports are worth $1.2 billion annually and most of them are sourced from China. The domestic toy cluster is being developed to counter that and stimulate the country’s growth in this sector.

“Toy industry globally is a USD 90 billion-market and Indian market size is about USD 1.7 billion. China exports USD 20 billion worth of toys and recreation goods annually," Aequs Chairman Aravind Melligeri was quoted as saying.

The company is a contract manufacturer and it already has two functioning production units at the special economic zone (SEZ) in Belagavi. It caters to some of the largest North American and European toy brands.

Out of the 400 acres land for the cluster, 300 acres will be an SEZ focusing solely on exports. The rest of the 100 acres will cater to demands within the country.

“Six marquee toy manufacturers and suppliers have already signed up for setting up factories in the toy cluster,” Melligiri was quoted in the report as saying.

The work behind this cluster had kicked off in January itself. This integrated manufacturing setup is slated to assist plastic and electronic toy manufacturers in design, moulding, assembly, painting, and packaging.

The toy manufacturing ecosystem will consist of more than 100 units and will generate direct employment for 25,000 people in addition to creating 1,00,000 indirect jobs.