‘Locally-manufactured mobile phones to boost exports’

88% rise in ‘Made in Pakistan’ smartphones recorded

Chinese manufacturers control about half of Pakistan’s mobile market as they were quick to utilise incentives offered by government

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the PM on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood has said that mobile manufacturing in Pakistan is part of the government’s ‘Make in Pakistan’ policy which will boost domestic exports.

“Our vision is to make Pakistan a hub of mobile phone manufacturing and export, and the exports of mobile phones will soon start that will earn foreign exchange for the country”, he said.

A meeting was presided over by Razak Dawood to examine progress made towards export of locally-manufactured mobile phones from Pakistan under the ‘Make-in-Pakistan’ policy, said a press release issued.

The adviser was informed that the success of the ‘Mobile Phone Manufacturing Policy’ was also evident from the import figures during the first five months of the current financial year (FY) as compared to the same period in the previous FY.

In the meeting, the adviser was informed that in Pakistan, about 80 to 85 percent of the market is for phones priced at $200 or below. He was informed that as a result of Mobile Phone Manufacturing Policy, which contains duty incentives for enhancing mobile phone assembling in Pakistan, the majority of phones cheaper than $200, are now assembled in Pakistan.

He was also informed that this was complemented by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA)’s Device Identification and Registration System (DIRBS) which has curbed the smuggling of mobile phones.

He was further informed that in terms of market shares, the Chinese manufacturers control about half of the market as they were quick to utilise the incentives offered by the government and hence have the “First-Mover’s advantage” in the market.

These assemblers are importing mobiles in Semi Knocked-Down (SKD) condition which are then assembled in Pakistan.

This is not only saving foreign exchange but also boosting industrial activity and creating employment. He was further informed that Samsung has also recently started assembling mobile phones in Pakistan.

The import of manufactured or Completely Built Units (CBU) is on the decline while that of mobile phone components (CKD) is on the rise.

During July-November 2021, the import of CBU decreased by 73 percent to $179 million as compared to $661 million during the same period last year. This saved $410 million in foreign exchange.

In contrast, the import of mobile phone components for local assembly increased by 407 percent to $674 million from $133 million last year.

Dawood said that all over the world, smartphones have now become a necessity as many SMEs now run their businesses on mobile phones. At the start of this government, Pakistan was a net importer of mobile phones but the situation has now been reversed and jobs are also being created in this sector.

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