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Mobile Phone Makers Are Criticizing Government for Not Abiding its Words

Mobile Phone

The mobile phone manufacturers have slammed the government for not abiding by their words and policies. It was essential to invite global giants like Apple to establish their units in the country. 

Addressing a mobile device manufacturing summit here on Tuesday, the office bearers of the Pakistan Mobile Phone Manufacturing Association (PMPMA) claimed that even iPhone was ready to come to Pakistan but was reluctant due to inconsistent government policies.

Organized by the Engineering Development Board (EDB) the speakers said lack of policy directives and the tug of war between various government departments and ministries were the main hurdles to growth in mobile manufacturing in Pakistan.

Pakistan is a country where policies change with every new government which creates an uncertain situation for foreign investors, who want legislation that ensures consistent policies, particularly in the information technology sector.

They have pressed Pakistan to pass laws to put in place a long-term policy that allows IT firms to thrive regardless of the change at the helm. Talking exclusively to The Express Tribune at an event, Vice Chairman Asia and Pacific ICT Alliances (APICTA) pointed out that a major concern had been the change in government that posed challenges to investors.

“One of the things industry needs to thrive is the consistency of policies,” he said and called for adopting a law that would ensure consistent policies for the companies investing and establishing their presence in Pakistan. “If a new government comes in, there should be no change in policies, as other countries do, such as India and Vietnam,” he stressed while citing an example of regional nations.

Inserra was of the view that Pakistan should be a safe country to do business and suggested measures that the country should take to stimulate investment in startups and IT. The first step is to position the country as a haven, not in terms of the economy, but in terms of what they are doing to support funds and start-up organizations, as well as to encourage overseas companies and professionals to set up offices here, not to attract investment, but to increase their presence.

“You have 60% of the population under the age of 25; this is incredible and has the potential to benefit millions of people. You have youth, talent, and knowledge, are willing to invest, and are attempting to change perceptions,” he remarked. “You need to increase business like the economies of Singapore, Thailand, and Australia. Pakistan is an economy and perceptions must change.”

Inserra called on Pakistan to encourage local companies to form partnerships with their overseas counterparts and also underlined the need for developing programs for the tech companies that were generating revenues. He believed that the government should reward local companies for encouraging those performing better as they could change the perception. “It is just a perception that Indian companies are more advanced than Pakistani firms. Innovation and knowledge in Pakistan are not different from what is found in India,” he said.

However, the keynote speaker Federal Minister for Industries and Production, Syed Murtaza Mehmood stressed the need for localization of parts of mobile phones, cheap labor productivity, and setting export targets. He said everybody was responsible for the current state of affairs on the economic front, but added that long-term policies could help overcome this situation. 

Around 31 mobile device manufacturing companies displayed their technology and products including Xiaomi, Realms, Infinix, Tecno, Itel, Alcatel, G-Five, Oppo, Vivo, Premier Code, etc. The speakers said up to $2.6 billion had been invested in the local mobile manufacturing industry in the country.

Vice Chairman Mobile Manufacturing Association Muzzaffar Piracha said that the mobile phone exports from China were around $140 billion, And the Chinese want to establish some of their units in Pakistan but only if the government provides enabling environment to mobile manufacturers. The exports in the industry could cross the $14 billion mark within three years, he added.

The current policy was made in 2020 and we started works in 2021 and by the end of 2022 only because of enabling environment, we met 95pc of local mobile phone demands,” Mr. Piracha said, adding “The mobile manufacturers want support from the government to enhance the exports.”

He said all major brands are in Pakistan, except for Apple and the ministry of IT has to talk to them along with other stakeholders such as the ministry of industries as well as the finance ministry.

“Arrival of Apple will add positive sentiments to the mobile phone manufacturing sector,” he said.

The speakers said that mobile sets packaging and some accessories have become localized and as the sector grows other allied equipment like chargers too can be made in the country but criticized the government for backtracking on its commitments.

Vice President of Mobile Manufacturing Association Aamir Allahwala said: “We have people who want to invest in the mobile industry but they need continuity in policies, like Vietnam which was exporting mobile phones worth $57 billion annually only because they have followed the policy offered to the investors who arrived in that country in 2014.” Mr. Allahwala said. 

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Written by Muhammad Muneeb Ur Rehman
Muneeb is a full-time News/Tech writer at TechJuice.pk. He is a passionate follower of the IT progression of Pakistan and the world and wants to educate the people of Pakistan about tech affairs. His favorite part about being a tech writer is tech reviews and giving an honest and clear verdict to his readers.Contact Muneeb on his LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/muneeb-ur-rehman-b5ab45240/ Profile