In a recent meeting with Finance Minister
If the plan materialises, this will be another feather in the cap of
The local manufacturing will result in transfer of technology, attract foreign direct investment (FDI), create jobs and provide much-needed boost to the country's image as an international manufacturing base.
However, the proposal is subject to a debate whether this can be implemented.
The recent auction of third-generation (3G) and 4G mobile spectrum licences would certainly spur the demand for smartphones in the country, the visiting delegates acknowledged.
However, the meeting got a mixed response from the industry and some quarters were sceptical about the project's economic viability despite all the incentives Dar promised to the visitors.
Dar offered a special corporate tax rate for FDI in the information technology sector for the next five years, provided the projects are completed in three years ending
esides, the government has already announced that FDI in manufacturing, construction and housing would be subject to 20% corporate income tax as opposed to the standard 33%.
Despite the incentives, manufacturing of smartphones in
"Setting up a manufacturing plant is not an issue, our consumption of smartphones is very low, thus the project may not be viable," said Jahangir, one of the sources expressing doubts about the feasibility of the project.
According to industry estimates,
With such a small market, it will be hard for the government to sell its case as a manufacturing base, Jahangir said.
Asked if exports of made-in-
His views are reflected in the policy of most technology companies
Even Pakistani brands like QMobile and Voice don't have manufacturing base in the country.
Despite all the difficulties, the possibility of domestic manufacturing of mobile phones can't be entirely ruled out.
"It [local manufacturing] is difficult and needs a lot of groundwork. However, it is very much possible if the government gives incentives on import duties and taxes as well as other support to the investor," United Mobile Director
The cost of manufacturing in
The country's perception is not a big issue. "In the past, made-in-
The idea of mobile manufacturing units is possible, said another official. Dawlance is a Pakistani home appliances company and has successfully expanded into international markets and doing well. "If they can do it, other industries can also do so," he said.
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