Mobile manufacturers see $14b export potential in three years

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani mobile phone manufacturers are confident that this sector has the potential to increase exports to $14 billion in next three years if it gets proper support from the government.
The representatives of Pakistan Mobile Phone Manufacturers Association (PMPMA) said at the “Made in Pakistan Mobile Manufacturing Summit” that the mobile device manufacturing industry has bright prospects, and with government support, even iPhone could establish its manufacturing unit in Pakistan.
The event was arranged by the PMPMA in collaboration of with the Engineering Development Board, Ministry of Industries and Production.
Highlighting key features of Pakistan’s mobile manufacturing industry, the PMPMA Chairman Muzaffar Paracha said mobile device manufacturing policy was implemented in FY 2020-21 and within two years, 93% of mobile phones being registered are assembled/manufactured in Pakistan.
The PMPMA chairman said the volume of mobile phone exports from China is around $140 billion, and it is going to establish multiple mobile device manufacturing units in Pakistan. He said with positive business environment in Pakistan, the volume of exports in the mobile manufacturing sector could be raised up to $14 billion within the next three years. He said the the Ministry of Information Technology and other stakeholders such as the Ministry of Industries as well as the Finance Ministry need to arrange mechanism for iPhone assembling in Pakistan.
Sayed Nabeel Hashmi, an official of the PMPMA, told WealthPK that following the import restrictions, the entire mobile industry has been facing difficulties as this sector relies on imported assembling tools from China. He said unavailability of CKD (completely knocked down) and CBU (completely built units) has raised prices of mobile devices manifold in the country.
The PMPMA Vice President Aamir Allahwala said that leading investors in Pakistan are willing to invest in the mobile industry, but uncertain political situation is one of the leading reasons behind limited investment.
The PMPMA at the summit also arranged an exhibition to showcase products assembled by leading mobile brands including Xiaomi, Realme, Infinix, Tecno, Itel, Alcatel, G-5, Oppo, Vivo, Premier Code, Samsung and Redmi.
Federal Minister for Industries and Production Makhdoom Syed Murtaza Mahmood while addressing the summit said the government is willing to ensure a long-term policy mechanism to ensure development consistency in the mobile manufacturing sector. He said the mobile manufacturing sector needs localisation of all allied equipment. Lauding endeavours on part of mobile manufacturers, the minister said this emerging sector is playing a viable role for progress and development of Pakistan.
Under the “Made in Pakistan Policy”, which was introduced back in 2020 by the Engineering Development Board, as many as 31 mobile manufacturing companies have started manufacturing/assembling of renowned mobile phone brands in Pakistan. As per data of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), mobile manufacturing plants in Pakistan assembled/manufactured 19.7 million mobile handsets in 2022, while 1.37 million mobile handsets were imported. Data shows that 55% of mobile devices in the country are smartphones, while 45% are on 2G networks.