Five companies have submitted applications to establish mobile phone assembly lines in Pakistan. Once authorized, the move will attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of billions of dollars. It will also help decrease imports which continue to along with fiscal trade deficit.
The companies that are seeking government’s approval to establish assembly lines are:
- Mobo Mobiles
- Foxconn and
- Jio Phone
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) is hoping that companies will start operations soon. An official from the authority said, “We expect these companies to start manufacturing mobile phones in their plants soon.”
Recognizing the growing market he 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.
Guidelines were issued by PTA to attract foreign investments from mobile companies. This is an attempt to bring down the prices of smartphones as their demand is continuously increasing.
Assembled in Pakistan
Until now, China has been home to big companies’ assembly lines like thanks to its cheap labor. This has added a significant amount to the country’s economy, however, as the exports have increased in China, prices of labor have also gone up. As a result, companies are now looking for other similar markets like Pakistan and India.
Most popular brands have already established assembly lines in India during the past few years.
Samsung was contacted by Pakistan in a similar attempt to bring in investments, however, one of their officials replied to the email saying,
The government should frame a policy to provide incentives to the brands establishing assembly lines in Pakistan.
Samsung’s reply clearly mentions that Pakistan needs to bring a new policy to support multi-national brands. Something akin to the Auto Policy could also help these smartphone manufacturers in setting up new assembly lines.
Until now, there are no rules and regulations which can prevent infringement and cheap copies in Pakistan. We recently saw that Nokia’snew 3310 was copied by a local brand even before its launch. Something similar was seen in the case of Samsung’s Galaxy S8.
On the other hand, PTA has clearly directed all companies to put “Assembled in Pakistan” on all devices that will be assembled in the country.
Read More: Customs Recover Over 80,000 Smuggled Phones
Guidelines by PTA
PTA has given some relief to the new companies as they will be issued No-objection certificate (NOC) for the first six months. However, after this period, PTA will perform thorough examination to ensure that international standards are being followed. A PTA official says,
“After evaluation and verification, the PTA will issue formal no-objection certificates following inspection of the assembly lines keeping in view the health, safety and technical standards.”
This will also help in decreasing mobile phone smuggling as around $1 billion worth of phones are smuggled into the country every year.