FIVE FIRMS PLAN TO SET UP CELLPHONE ASSEMBLY LINES.
After a long wait, Pakistan is finally going to start manufacturing mobile phones locally as five mobile companies are looking to set up their assembly lines in the country.
The development is set to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) worth millions of dollars and is expected to reduce the country's growing import bill.
The companies that sought government's permission to set up assembly lines include Haier, G5, Jio Phone, Mobo Mobiles and Foxconn.
Last month, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) issued guidelines for setting up assembly lines in Pakistan in a bid to step up the pace of digitalisation.
"We expect these companies to start manufacturing mobile phones in their plants soon," a senior PTA official said.
"Mobile phone users in Pakistan are fast shifting to hi-tech products; of the 24 million mobile sets being imported in a year, almost half are smartphones," he added.
Domestic manufacturing was expected to bring down phone prices and increase demand for smartphones, which would help achieve the goal of rapid digitalisation, he claimed.
China has been the hub of mobile phone manufacturing over the past one decade due to cheap labour. The resulting economic boom, however, has led to an increase in labour costs, which is also impacting cellphone prices in the international market.
"The government should frame a policy to provide incentives to the brands establishing assembly lines in Pakistan," suggested a Samsung official in an email reply to a query.
PTA has insisted that all devices assembled in Pakistan should have clear marking stating "Assembled in Pakistan".
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|Publication:||Pakistan & Gulf Economist|
|Date:||Nov 26, 2017|
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