Economic collapse puts thousands of mobile industry jobs at risk

The industry had been performing well so far.

Economic collapse puts thousands of mobile industry jobs at risk

The threat of an economic crisis is severely impacting Pakistan’s mobile phone industry with almost 40,000 jobs at risk. The industry had been performing well so far.

People working in the industry have claimed that the condition has been quite different ever since the year 2013, when the phone industry was in danger. This is because cellphone assemblers cannot open sufficient letters of credit (LCs) to meet their raw material needs.

Domestic assemblers were given a quota of $80 million for the import of completely knocked-down (CKD) parts for the purpose of assembling mobile phones. The closed assembly lines mean that about 40,000 people have their jobs at risk and can lose it.

Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication, Syed Aminul Haque, stated that Pakistan’s assembly plants would produce 19.7 million smart devices in the year 2022. The value of these devices was estimated to be around Rs.9.7 billion.

CEO of Tecno Pak, Aamir Allawala, revealed that the domestic demand for mobile phones was estimated at 36,000,000 per year. This meant an average of 3,000,000 every year and includes more than 1.3 million smartphones. He also mentioned that the relevant data was collected in months between April to May 2022 when there was no disruption in the market. The disruption was caused in the months that followed because the country was unable to obtain foreign currency.

According to Amir, they had more than 2,700 employees in January 2022. However, only 1,000 are left now. He believes that foreign direct investment (FDI) can help the country reduce its deficit.

‘We can join hands with Chinese investors and companies who are willing to invest in the country,’ he added.

He emphasized how the country needs to resolve political uncertainty and create an environment that is favorable for foreign investors for that. Moreover, investors are discouraged due to policy revisions and changes in the political setup.

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