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Economy

Gateway of Tech Producers: 19 companies Permitted to manufacture mobile sets in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: As the mobile sets assembling licences are set to expire next month, the Pakistan Telecommunication Autho­rity (PTA) on Tuesday issued Mobile Device Manu­facturing Authorisation to 19 foreign and local companies for the production of mobile devices locally.

The licences have been issued under the Mobile Device Manufacturing (MDM) Regulations, 2021, issued by the PTA in January this year.

Among the prominent companies to obtain the manufacturing licences are Oppo and Vivo. The companies will have to complete the already approved deletion programme within two years.

The mobile companies were earlier granted assembling licence for six months that is set to expire in June, while the manufacturing licence is valid for 10 years.

“The idea is to promote ‘Manufactured in Pakistan’ not only for sets but for the parts too,” the PTA spokesman said. The international brands that have obtained the manufacturing licences have plans to export their products to the Middle East.

The mobile sets manufacturing companies have to follow a localisation plan which includes local packing up to two per cent by the end of one year.

By the end of two years, 2pc of device chargers have to be manufactured locally, 10pc of all mother-board assembly has to be locally produced, 10pc of all batteries, 8pc of total manufactured display screens and components and 8pc of all plastic parts.

Apart from the mobile sets the licences will apply for devices including tablets, router, dongle, tracking etc.

While 4G mobile sets too were assembled in the country, a vast majority of sets assembled in the country were 2G and 3G compatible.

However, stakeholders are confident that the manufacturing policy will eventually lead to growth of specialised industries in the telecom sector.

“Currently we are told to establish our manufacturing units, but ultimately the result will be that some investor will establish manufacturing units for batteries, cables or ICs etc and start supplying to all the manufacturers,” said Muzzaffar Hayat Piracha, the CEO AirLink and chairman Pakistan Mobile Importers and Manufacturers Associ­ation.

He added that mobile sets have a short usage life and the companies will focus on upgrading their products as well as digital marketing, while the technical parts manufacturers can sell their products to other users or as spare parts.

During the year 2020, more than 32.8 million mobile sets were imported in Pakistan. The government aims to reduce major part of it with the manufacturing of mid level and low cost sets in country.

General Manager Policy Engineering Development Board (EDB) Asim Ayaz said the mobile device manufacturing policy provides sufficient advantage for local manufacturing of mobile phones and accessories, especially below the price range of $200 in comparison with imported sets. However, he added that a small part of imports for the hi-end sets will continue.

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