According to sources, Samsung had shortlisted a number of companies that it could consider awarding license to for setting up a mobile assembly plant in Pakistan. It is now being reported that the tech giant is in the process of finalizing its plan and one of the companies is all set to receive the license to set up the manufacturing plant.
The news of the company setting up mobile assembly plants in Pakistan broke last year when then Minister for Industries and Productions Hammad Azhar tweeted that “Smartphone production in Pakistan is multiplying following the Device Identification, Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) implementation and Mobile [Device Manufacturing] Policy launched recently”.
Smartphone production in Pak is multiplying following DIRBS implementation and Mobile Policy launched recently.
Met with the Samsung Pakistan MD and CEO. They appreciated both policies and are now actively considering setting up a smartphone assembly plan in Pakistan. pic.twitter.com/8bGBnCWvir
— Hammad Azhar (@Hammad_Azhar) August 21, 2020
“Met with Samsung Pakistan managing director and chief executive officer. They appreciated both policies and are now actively considering setting up a smartphone assembly plan[t] in Pakistan,” he had added.
“The Korean company aims to start local assembly of cellphones in the last quarter of this year,” informed a source.
Of the three parties who are keen on investing in the plant, one company is a part of the South Korean investor pool that has already built vehicle assembly units in Pakistan, under the Auto Development Policy 2016-2021.
Market sources further revealed that Samsung might prefer the option to sign an agreement with one of the Korean companies operating in Pakistan as it already shares a comfort level with them.
Till now 21 companies have been given mobile device manufacturing authorisation from March to June 2021, after the Engineering Development Board (EDB), an arm of the Ministry of Industries and Production (MoIP), approved Mobile Device Manufacturing Policy (MDMP) in 2020.
The interest of foreign players in setting up cellphone manufacturing units in Pakistan is due to the MDMP policy launched recently said sources. The policy was framed so that products are produced under the banner of ‘Make in Pakistan’ and imports are discouraged.
According to EDB list, factories’ locations include Rawalpindi, Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad and Islamabad. Some famous brand names include Nokia, Oppo, Infinix, Tecno, Itel, Vivo, Alpha, Realme, VGOTEL, DCODE, Calme, Xcell, Spice, TCL, Alcatel, etc.
As per figures of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), cell phone imports have gone up by 63pc to $1.860 billion in 11MFY21 from $1.138bn in the same period last fiscal year.
According to the Economic Survey 2020-21, , telecom sector has captured over $3.9 billion of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) during July 2012 to February 2021.The FDI in telecom during July-February FY21 was $101.1 million. Telecom operators have invested an amount of $363.9m during July-December FY21.
The news of Samsung setting up a mobile manufacturing unit in Pakistan is huge and it is expected that once it is officially announced, other foreign companies would also waste no time in jumping on the bandwagon.