Pakistan becomes cell phone exporter


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has become exporter of 4G smartphones by sending first-ever shipment tagged ‘Manufactured in Pakistan’ to the United Arab Emirates.

The first consignment of 5,500 mobile sets of 4G smartphones manufactured by Inovi Telecom was exported to the UAE on Friday.

However, the local manufacturers of mobile sets have stressed the necessity for an export supportive policy, allowing Pakistan to beat competitors within the Middle East region.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Auth­ority on Saturday congratulated the corporate for the achievement and hoped the exports of smart phones would increase further. “This is that the results of concerted efforts for the event of mobile device manufacturing ecosystem within the country,” said the regulator during a statement.

Inovi Telecom Pvt Ltd was issued authorisation for mobile device manufacturing in April and it’s managed to satisfy its first export order within four months. Chief Executive Zeeshan MianNoor said that their main target was to penetrate in low-end markets of Middle East including Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.

“We are manufacturing the Chinese brands and there are an outsized number of expat workers within the Gulf countries,” he said, adding the hi-end consumers of Gulf countries prefer top world class mobile brands and that we shouldn’t even attempt to become involved therein market.”

He said that the mass market of Gulf countries was their primary target, while the standard citizens of Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan too preferred mobile sets up to $100 each.

IT and Telecom Minister Syed Amin ul Haque told Dawn that favourable government policies have helped achieve the milestone of remodeling Pakistan from a net mobile importer to an exporting country.

He added that conducive environment was being provided to the local mobile device manufacturing companies and therefore the smuggling of mobile phones has been stopped through Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS).

The minister added that the local manufacturers would eventually start moving towards assembling of high-end phones too after the assembly of spare parts for mobile sets commence next year.

On the opposite hand a senior player within the field has said that the government’s approach towards enhancing export markets was slow, keeping in sight the changing scenario.

Transsion Tecno Electronics CEO Amir Allahwala said that overall exports of mobile set by China is over $140bn, but that was only thanks to low labour cost, which has now increased significantly.

“The Chinese are moving towards high-tech items and shifting their mobile set manufacturing to countries like India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Bangladesh,” he said.

He added that labour cost was very high in Vietnam and Indonesia and Chinese businesses aren’t expanding in India anymore thanks to mounting political tensions.

“Now Pakistan is that the only player left to compete with Bangladesh, but is that the government able to provide same level of facilities to us too?” he asked. “We have proved that investors can meet the targets but the longer term of mobile set exports depends on the govt policies,” he remarked.

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