Address mobile industry’s problems



Due to liquidity crunch that is hindering import of necessary raw material, one industry after another is closing down. After textile and auto, it has now been reported that country’s thirty mobile phone assembly units including three run by foreign brands have shut down as manufacturers say they are left with no raw material. This has put future of about twenty thousand employees at stake.

The country had been producing over 2.5 million phones per month on average since April last year, catering to around 90 percent of total demand. Apart from meeting demand at home, the Made in Pakistan sets were exported as well, which was an encouraging sign for the country. At present, this industry was at nascent stage, as it was being anticipated that it would soon move towards localising accessories such as chargers, batteries, earphones, cables etc.

This would have entailed immense economic benefits and provided our youth with more job opportunities, yet latest state of affairs is a serious blow to our reputation as a mobile manufacturer and will dissuade investors from further investing in it. Pakistan needs dollars and these can be earned either through exports or remittances. It is important that government addresses the problems of industries including mobile phone manufacturers so that they could resume their operations and earn foreign exchange. We also need to move towards domestically producing raw material to cater to the requirements of the industries. Doing so is important not only to ensure sustainability of industries but this will also help save valuable foreign exchange.