Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce Razak Dawood was briefed by the Engineering Development Board (EDB) on the plan to facilitate Mobile Phone production in the country.
The adviser stated that Pakistan’s large consumer base will be leveraged to catch the potential FDI in mobile phone manufacturing. He gave directions to the EDB to finalize the policy by next month. The briefing updated that the draft policy envisages advantages for local manufacturing/assembly of mobile devices, which would divert the focus from import of mobile sets to the local assembly.
The EDB representatives further stated that out of 26 approvals, 15 mobile sets assembly units are operating in the country, mainly in Karachi and central Punjab. However, a large number of them are only manufacturing analogue sets whereas a limited number of Smart mobile phones are assembled in the country. A senior EDB representative stated that the usage and import of top brand cell phones in the country had reduced local assembling.
“Now after strict policies by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), smuggling of cell phones has been stopped,” the representative said to the meeting. “The high duty policies have also reduced the import of cell phones.”
The draft policy and structure envisage that the semi-knocked down and completely knocked down units should be implemented in the country “but the traffic policies need to be changed”. “The organizations will give priority to SKD, which is the assembly of sets with imported parts. after some stages, the manufacturing of parts will begin in the country under CKD,” the representative stated.
Engineering Development Board is the top government authority under the Ministry of Industries & Production with the responsibility to build up the engineering base in Pakistan.
It should be mentioned that the cell phone industry has grown to become one of the biggest manufacturing sectors in the world. The Pakistan cell phone market is projected to use 53 million units each year. The sales value of cell phones in Pakistan haS been approximated at Rs366 billion in 2019.