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Pakistan steps up mobile exports

By Staff Reporter | The Express Tribune Sep 26, 2021

The export of smartphones manufactured in Pakistan is accelerating and the uptrend is expected to steer job creation and decrease trade deficit.

“It is heartening to see that within a short period of time, Pakistan has become a 4G smartphone exporter,” said Adviser to Prime Minister on Investment and Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood in a tweet on Saturday. “I would like to congratulate Airlink Communications for playing an integral role in this process and exporting its first batch of 1,500 locally manufactured smartphones to UAE.”

He termed it a small beginning for the company but a significant milestone for Pakistan’s mobile phone industry.

SI Global CEO Noman Said told The Express Tribune that net smartphone sales in Pakistan stand at around Rs1.38 billion, which indicates a booming local market. He was of the view that expansion in sales in the segment would generate employment opportunities.

Talking about Airlink Communications, he said that the firm employs more than 1,100 people and possesses the capacity to produce over 400,000 smartphones each month.

“It comes as joyous news that Pakistan is now endeavouring to export locally manufactured 4G cell phones to the UAE,” he said. “Our exports to UAE are generally limited therefore foreign shipments of mobile phones open up a new avenue for us to enhance trade with the Middle East.”

Pakistan is full of talent but as far as manufacturing is concerned, the country is lagging behind due to lack of available resources, said the CEO.

The growth rate of 4G mobile phone production in Pakistan is steep and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has issued licences to 26 companies to produce such smartphones.

The smartphone penetration in Pakistan is also increasing day after day especially in the rural areas, he said.

Said stressed that the development of manufacturing sector was of utmost importance and urged the government to focus on introduction of favourable policies to create a conducive environment for the business community.

Online export and e-commerce is also an aspect, which can be integrated into this model for more fruitful gains, he emphasised.

According to him, flexible smartphone screens are also likely to play a notable role in future of technology.

“Evolving youth will definitely play its part in advent and development of the industry,” Said projected. “The younger population will act as a navigator for the next era of technology and we must engage the youth of the country and promote it accordingly.”

The introduction of mobile applications by corporate companies has led to a drastic increase in digital banking and finance and it has effectively transformed smartphones into modes of payment.

“The potential held by the smartphones is endless and they help expand our horizon,” he said.

According to a source in the industry, many companies are in talks with foreign countries to export smartphones from Pakistan.

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