Make-in Pakistan policy



FOR the first time in decades, the policy of the Government to encourage local production and ensure transfer of technology has started producing the desired results, especially in the realm of local manufacturing of cellular phones as their production has saved the country precious $410 million (in foreign exchange) through import substitution during July-November 2021.

According to the Ministry of Commerce, import of completely built units (CBUs) decreased by 73% to $179 million as compared to $661 million during the same period of previous year.

This is, indeed, a resounding success of ‘Make-in Pakistan’ policy of the present Government as it is estimated that by the first quarter of 2022, 90% of all mobile phones sold in Pakistan would be made-in Pakistan.

The success of the policy is also evident from the fact that it has attracted most of the renowned Chinese and other manufacturers such as Samsung, Tecno, Infinix, Oppo, Vivo, Realme, Xiaomi, Nokia and Itel to start manufacturing locally by the end of January 2022.

Currently, there are around 12 local brands including G’Five, QMobile, VgoTel, QQMee, etc which are being assembled in Pakistan.

However, it may be pointed out that mere assembly of cellular phones is unlikely to produce the desired results in terms of stimulation of industrial activity in the country, job generation and production of quality phones at affordable rates as we have witnessed in the case of care manufacturers, which have not implemented agreed deletion programme and revise prices upward every now and then.

Data shows import of mobile phone components for local assembly increased by 407% to $674 million from $133 million in the previous year, which means no worthwhile saving in terms of foreign exchange.

However, it is encouraging that Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood, who really deserves credit for the success of make-in Pakistan policy, has declared that our next stop is localization of parts as per Mobile Device Manufacturing Policy, adding that export and relocation of China’s mobile phone industry is on the cards.

Necessary incentives should be offered to encourage local manufacturing of parts and required investment on research and development as innovation is the key to success in industrial production and marketing.


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