Mobile device manufacturing policy okayed

Updated February 29, 2020

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The policy is expected to promote local investments and foreign direct investment, the EDB said. — AFP/File
The policy is expected to promote local investments and foreign direct investment, the EDB said. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Engineering Development Board (EDB) on Friday approved mobile device manufacturing policy to encourage local manufacturers through technology acquisition and localisation.

The policy, approved by the EDB board of management in a meeting held on Friday, was submitted to the Ministry of Industries and Production.

The policy, approved after extensive stakeholder consultations, is expected to promote local investments and foreign direct investment (FDI), the EDB said.

Pakistan is the seventh largest market for mobile sets in the world with annual sales of 34 million handsets during 2019. The local device manufacturing activity is projected to create 200,000 direct and indirect jobs within the country besides developing efficient manufacturing ecosystem and linking the country to the global supply chain.

With an increasing demand and labour cost advantage, the policy will help develop a major industry in the country capable of generating export surplus to sell its brand of ‘Made in Pakistan’ in the international markets.

The meeting, chaired by the EDB Chief Executive Officer Almas Hyder also deliberated on the electric vehicle policy drafted by the board in consultation with stakeholders.

It was proposed to ensure a comprehensive policy framework to not only cater for electric vehicles but emerging technologies in this sector as well as ensuring that the supply chains of existing players are not disturbed.

The board emphasised the need for a favourable incentive regime to promote local investments and attract FDI.

Meanwhile, in Karachi, Federal Minister and Adviser to PM on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam said that a draft of Electrical Vehicle Policy will be submitted to the Economic Coordination Committee soon.

He said that currently, the work on policy concessions and SROs is in the final stages and a revolution of electric vehicles is in the coming in the country.

Moreover, the USAID has shown the possibility of saving $2 billion in one of its reports. This will also be beneficial since it will utilise our capacity of producing 4,000MW.

Aslam said that there are more than 200m motorcycles and rickshaws in the country, while more than 3,000 CNG stations across the country can be used for electrical charging stations.

A comprehensive plan for participation of engineering sector in international trade fairs was also presented during the meeting. The board members lauded efforts made by the EDB management to promote the country’s engineering sector.

EDB chief also briefed the board on competitive and efficiency improvement and export enhancement exercises. The board was told that 350 companies, associations and chambers have been asked to submit proposals regarding the anomalies in tariff cascading, procedural delays in availing benefits and technological constraints in meeting international benchmarks.

The proposals, once consolidated and evaluated by the EDB were subsequently approved and will be submitted to the National Tariff Commission for approval.

Published in Dawn, February 29th, 2020