KARACHI: South Korean tech giant Samsung has been in talks with three investors for setting up a mobile manufacturing unit in Pakistan.
According to sources, one of the three parties has a franchise from Korea and has already established vehicle assembly factories in Pakistan as part of the Auto Development Policy (ADP) 2016-21, while the other two are unrelated.
According to them, no agreement has been inked yet because Samsung is in the midst of finalising its strategy to award the mobile manufacturing licence to one of the companies after shortlisting several.
In an earnings projection released on Wednesday, the world’s largest smartphone maker predicted an operating profit of roughly 12.5 trillion won ($11 billion) for April to June, up from 8.15 trillion won a year ago.
“A person acquainted with the mobile phone sector told Dawn on Wednesday that the Korean company wants to start local cellphone assembly in the fourth quarter of this year.”
According to market sources, Samsung may opt to sign an agreement with one of the Korean companies operating in Pakistan since they provide a level of comfort that non-Korean companies may not provide.
The Engineering Development Board (EDB), an arm of the Ministry of Industries and Production (MoIP), authorised the Mobile Device Manufacturing Policy (MDMP) in 2020, and 21 enterprises were given permission to manufacture mobile devices between March and June 2021.
Rawalpindi, Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad, and Islamabad are among the factories listed by the EDB. Nokia, Oppo, Infinix, Tecno, Itel, Vivo, Alpha, Realme, VGOTEL, DCODE, Calme, Xcell, Spice, TCL, Alcatel, and other well-known brands are among them.
According to sources, the government has drafted the MDMP to encourage international companies to invest in Pakistan by establishing a cellphone manufacturing facility. The goal is to manufacture the goods under the “Make in Pakistan” banner and discourage imports.
According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), cellphone imports increased by 63 percent to $1.860 billion in 11MFY21 from $1.138 billion the previous fiscal year.
According to the Economic Survey 2020-21, the telecom sector attracted about $3.9 billion in foreign direct investment from July 2012 to February 2021. (FDI). FDI in telecom totaled $101.1 million from July to February in FY21. Between July and December of FY21, telecom operators invested $363.9 million.
The cellular mobile sector, which has spent $253.5 million throughout this time, has been the primary driver of this investment. During the first eight months of FY21, total telecom investment reached $465 million. Pakistan has 183.48 million cellular subscribers as of May 2021.