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Pakistan

Govt announces 3% incentive for local handset manufacturers: Dr Saif

  • Looks to enhance production of high-end phones in Pakistan
Published January 29, 2024

The government, in an effort to enhance the production of high-end phones in Pakistan, has announced a 3% R&D (research and development) incentive for the local handset manufacturing industry.

The development was announced by Minister for Information Technology Dr Umar Saif in a post on social media platform X on Monday.

“We announced 3% R&D incentive for the industry to make them globally competitive in terms of price,” said the minister.

The interim minister added that the government would also be announcing a plan to manufacture components in Pakistan and make locally manufactured phones cheaper than imported phones using a tariff-differential policy.

Dr Saif said that Pakistan is the seventh largest market of cellular users in the world with 191 million cellular connections. “However, we import most of our mobile phones. We need to manufacture them locally and develop an industry to export made-in-Pakistan phones,” he said.

“Our cellphone exports can grow to a billion-dollar industry in the next few years,” he said.

“Shortly, people will also be able to buy phones in installments via cellphones financing schemes,” he added.

Earlier, Dr Saif, while addressing the Pakistan Mobile Summit, organized in Islamabad under the Ministry of IT and Telecom and Mobile Phone Manufacturers, said that the R&D incentive would be given to local handset manufacturing sector before the end of this fiscal year.

“This 3% will increase to 8%, which is comparable to the regional policies,” he said.

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Talking about the local handset manufacturing industry, Dr Saif had said that some 57 million smartphones have been manufactured so far. “That is a very large number, considering that our domestic demand is only 25 million phones per year. So a large fraction of the local demand could be met by local handset manufacturers,” he said.

He said that the government is encouraging local manufacturers, which are now able to meet a large fraction of the domestic demand.

“They (local mobile manufacturers) were able to produce 16 million handsets in 2021, and about 24 million handsets in 2022. But the real benefit of this industry would come, when are they able to export these phones in a globally competitive market,” he said.

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