Local manufacturing of mobile phones on the rise

'Turnover of mobile phone manufacturing industry may surpass that of auto industry in the next few years'

ISLAMABAD: With the arrival of new investors in the mobile phone manufacturing industry, the Ministry of Industries & Production (MoIP) expects that the new industry to overtake the country’s automotive industry in the next few years.

As per officials of the Engineering Development Board (EDB) — a technical arm of the Ministry of Industries & Production (MoIP), the country’s mobile phone manufacturing industry was expected to surpass the auto sector in terms of turnover.

“To further facilitate the electronics sector, EDB has already started work on preparing appropriate framework for local assembly of tablets, allied equipment and mobile accessories,” an EDB official said. “This is in line with the board’s vision to improve the entire ecosystem and make mobile manufacturing the fastest growing sector in terms of employment and exports.”

He said following the approval of the Mobile Device Manufacturing Policy 2020 last year, new investors and firms were taking keen interest in the mobile manufacturing industry of Pakistan.

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Meanwhile, EDB General Manager (Policy) Asim Ayaz maintained that the mobile device manufacturing policy provided sufficient advantage to the local manufacturing of mobile phones in comparison with imports of completely built units. “VIVO, Airlink Communications and Inovi Telecom are among the new investors in local assembly of mobile phones, who have already started their trial production in February 2021.”

According to Ayaz, the combined capacity of these three companies was more than one million mobile handsets per month, whereas Transsion Tecno — a Karachi-based company assembling three famous brands including Itel, Infinix and Tecno — has increased local assembly from 150,000 units to 650,000 units per month owing to increase in demand soon after the launch of the policy.

“In addition to new entrants in mobile assembly, few experienced companies like GFive and QMobile were already operating in the market, while Samsung and OPPO are poised to enter local assembly in Pakistan market and are probably waiting for the implementation of approved recommendation of policy to remove sales tax on locally assembled mobiles from above $200 category.”

He said by introducing new players and capacity enhancement by existing companies, Pakistan will soon be able to meet a major portion of local demand, which was around 3.6 million per month in 2020.

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Ghulam Abbas
The writer is a member of the staff at the Islamabad Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]

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