ISLAMABAD: The potential telecom manufacturing companies should come forward and invest in telecom equipment and mobile handsets manufacturing in Pakistan as it is embarking on new era of technological advancements.
Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunications, Anusha Rehman on Thursday said, “We invite telecom manufacturing companies to partner with Pakistan to help ensure access of smartphone to users at affordable price.”
She was talking to a Chinese delegation, comprising CEOs and Heads of leading telcos, which called on the Minister here to discuss local mobile manufacturing prospects in Pakistan.
Anusha Rehman said Telephone Industries of Pakistan (TIP) had been making landline phones for PTCL and present government intends to use skilled labour and facilities of TIP for local manufacturing of mobile phones.
TIP is equipped with advance machines which can be used effectively in local mobile manufacturing, she added.
The Minister said,”We want to make a smartphone accessible to common man at a low cost and this target can only be achieved if mobile phones are manufactured locally.”
Chairman, Board of Investment, Ismail Mufta, Secretary IT, Akhlaq Ahmad Tarar, Additional Secretary IT, Azmat Ali Ranjha, Chairman NTC, Brig (retd) Waqar Rashid Khan and Member Telecom, Mudassar Hussain were also present.
The Minister said after 3G/4G spectrum auction, Pakistan has entered into a new era of technological advancement, adding that “We have less than 2 per cent broadband penetration and after 3G/4G, 98 percent green field is expected to be tapped.”
She said to facilitate investors, tax relaxation and other incentives in the budget have been offered. Taxes of telecom services have also been reduced, she added.
On the occasion, Ismail Mufta said telecom sector has huge potential for investment, especially after 3G/4G and added the government has already announced many concessions including 10 years tax holidays to foreign investors.
He said China mobile is a success story in Pakistan and other Chinese companies by learning from their experiences, can invest in local mobile manufacturing confidently under public-private partnership.
Government of Pakistan also has a free trade agreement with China. Head of Chinese delegation, Mr. Lou Peide, Secretary General China Mobile Communication Association (CMCA) appreciated the investment friendly policies and expressed keen interest in local manufacturing plan.
Sharing the experiences, he said, China telecom industry had started its journey from zero about 20 years back and now it is leading the world with 80 per cent mobile manufacturing share.
He said Pakistan is a drastically growing market in telecom sector and its pace would be further geared up with its local manufacturing industry.
Anusha Rehman appreciated spirit and keen interest shown by Chinese telecom companies for their investment in local mobile manufacturing and assured them the utmost cooperation in this regard.