Demand for technology products, especially mobile phones, is the highest demanded product category globally. Pakistan with a population of 225+ million requires 36 million units annually.
If the strategy is set right, our population strength can generate domestic demand and accelerate Pakistani exports rapidly. Pakistan produces 93%+ domestic demand through the recently launched mobile manufacturing policy successfully implemented by the Engineering Development Board (EDB).
The Engineering Development Board (EDB) recently organized a summit to highlight the vast potential of the industry in coordination with the Pakistan Mobile Manufacturers Association (PMPMA). A total of 31 domestic manufacturers attended the event. This included the largest mobile manufacturers in Pakistan producing popular brands such as Samsung, Xiaomi, ZTE, Realme, Vivo, Oppo, Tecno, Infinix, Itel, G’FIVE, VNUS, Mobo Mobile, Digit, Dcode, Nokia, VgoTel, Qmobile, E-TACHI, Club, Calme, MeMobile, Hello Tech, Gresso, Emarat, Oukitel, MaxFone, Spice Mobile, Go Mobile, Faywa, Kechaoda, Pritel, SEGO, Sparx, Xmobile.
Mian Abdul Rahman (Chairman of the Board of Directors), Muzaffar Peracha (Senior Vice-Chairman), Aamir Al-Alawala (Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors), and Zeeshan Mayanur (Deputy Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors) attended as chief officials on behalf of the association.
The event was honored to host Mr. Makhdoom Syed Morteza Mahmoud, Federal Minister for Industry and Production, as a chief guest. The event provided a much needed platform for all concerned stakeholders: Mobile Device Manufacturers, Pakistan Telecommunications Authority, Government Officials from Ministry of Industry and Production, Ministry of Commerce, Board of Investment, National Tariff Commission, Telecom, Federal Board of Revenue and Ministry of Information Technology. Its objective was to enhance investment and employment opportunities in the mobile assembly industry.
The event was organized to collect inputs from all relevant stakeholders regarding the local mobile phone manufacturing in order to create a development roadmap that will increase the output of the industry and benefit the local population. Industry experts discussed the huge potential of domestic production to boost the country’s economy, generate exports and provide jobs for a growing population.
In 2015, Pakistan started manufacturing mobile phones. As a third world country and in the absence of a political platform, the industry has not undergone a dramatic transformation. However, mobile products started to flourish in the country after 2018. Local companies have invested more than $200 million in this sector. In light of this situation, the Pakistani government formulated the country’s first mobile manufacturing policy.
The event participants discussed the potential of local mobile manufacturing in Pakistan with leading industry experts and government officials. Officials believe that the domestic mobile phone industry could add $14 billion to the national treasury if it thrives at a good pace and with government support. Several reasons are given to the audience in order to validate their assumption.
Firstly, Pakistan has a cheap and readily available labor force. Due to the labor-intensive nature of the industry, a domestic mobile phone assembly plant requires a large workforce to operate. The product can also be produced in a more cost effective manner due to the low cost nature of the workforce. In addition, the use of solar energy can reduce the cost of energy which gives an additional benefit to the units manufactured in Pakistan.
Competitive advantage is key in mobile manufacturing over other products/categories.
Participants highlighted the importance of the mobile phone industry to the Pakistani economy and demanded that the government give special focus and attention to accelerate the progress of the industry, while taking advantage of the export opportunity that Pakistani exports can certainly be increased to offset the trade deficit. The event concluded amicably.