Samsung is all set to begin the manufacturing of its phones in Pakistan as Lucky Motor Corporation has entered into a joint venture with the smartphone giant for the local production of cellphones.

Lucky Motor Corporation has entered into an agreement with Samsung Gulf Electronics to produce Samsung mobile phones at its automobile plant at Port Qasim, said a notice sent by Lucky Motor Corporation to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Friday.

“I congratulate Lucky Group and Samsung on entering into a joint venture to manufacture smartphones in Pakistan,” said Minister of Energy Hammad Azhar in a tweet. “These positive developments are evidence of the success of DIRBS system that eliminated smuggling of phones, and then followed up by mobile manufacturing policy last year.”

In comments to The Express Tribune, Tecno Pack Telecom CEO Aamir Allawala termed the joint venture excellent development for the country.

Samsung was a mobile phone giant and its decision to assemble phones in Pakistan was an indication of the success of Mobile Device Manufacturing Policy (MDMP) launched by the government in June 2020, said Allawala.

The vision of the policy was clear ie by 2022, 80% of all mobile phones sold in Pakistan should be locally manufactured, he said.

He was of the view that meeting the targets set in the policy would be a challenging task for the industry and support of the government was vital in that regard.

The brands already being manufactured in Pakistan included Tecno, Infinix, Itel, Vivo, Oppo and Realme while Nokia was in the process of setting up a plant and kick-starting operations in September 2021, said Allawala.

He highlighted that Samsung would begin production from December 2021.

“I can foresee tough competition in coming months between the firms specialising in local manufacturing of mobile phones,” said Allawala. “With the localisation of parts, prices are also expected to decline while exports are anticipated to rise.”

SI Global CEO Noman Ahmed Said termed the joint venture first step towards manufacturing of IT products in the country. He stressed that the development would encourage expansion and collaboration of other big players in Pakistan.

“Samsung’s faith in Pakistan is symbolic for all of us and we need to ensure that proper support is provided to the manufacturers,” he said. “We have examples of Suzuki, Honda and other car manufacturers who entered Pakistan, created jobs and accelerated technological advancement.”

He cherished the fact that several positive developments were announced on the technological front in the past few months.

He called on the State Bank of Pakistan and stakeholders of the technology sector to draft a basic legal framework to create a win-win situation for both companies.

Economically and fundamentally, the joint venture is a step in the right direction in the mobile phone sector.

“The telecom sector is likely to benefit from this development as it may result in more such collaborations,” he said.

It will also help enhance competitiveness and the main beneficiary will be the consumer because local manufacturing will reduce the cost of mobile phones.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2021.

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