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October 9, 2019

Incentives for mobile phone makers on cards


October 9, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The government is considering incentives for investors to set up manufacturing and assembly plants of mobile phones in the country to create jobs and substitute imports of handheld devices, commerce adviser said on Tuesday.

Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Razak Dawood said the draft of mobile device manufacturing policy aims to develop and promote mobile devices’ manufacturing industry of Pakistan as part of electronic products manufacturing initiative – Make in Pakistan.

“The policy will attract new investment, generate employment and make Pakistan global player for electronics manufacturing,” Dawood said, addressing a meeting to discuss the policy draft prepared by Engineering Development Board.

PM adviser said the proposed policy envisages incentives for local manufacturing/assembling of mobile devices, “which will expectedly shift the focus from import of mobiles in completely built units (CBU) to semi-knocked down and completely knocked down (CKD) condition”.

“The proposed policy is mainly focusing on employment generation, import substitution and technology transfer,” he said in a statement. The country imported $756 million worth of mobile phones in the last fiscal year of 2018/19, down 11 percent year-over-year, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics data showed. Mobile phone subscribers have exceeded 160 million. Of them, 71 million are subscribers to internet-enabled devices, compatible with 3G/4G.

Dawood said import of CKD kits at rationalised duty structure would substitute the device collection through imports. Duty on CBU imports would be enhanced, “thus making local assembly/manufacturing feasible vis-à-vis imports of mobile devices in CBU conditions”.

“The proposed policy will attract domestic and foreign direct investment in engineering sector (electronic equipment including mobile phone devices),” he said. The adviser urged the domestic and foreign companies to invest in manufacturing in electronic goods in the country to get high returns on their investment.

“Special economic zones are providing technical and financial support through various incentives by granting tax holidays and duty exemptions on parts which are used in manufacturing of mobile phone devices and other electronic goods,” he added.

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