Former state minister and Board of Investment (BOI) chairman Muhammad Azfar Ahsan has urged the Pakistani government to take immediate action to revive the country’s mobile manufacturing industry. In a letter addressed to the prime minister and several ministries, Ahsan highlighted the shortage of raw materials and components that has forced companies, including Transsion Tecno Electronics, a project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), to halt business activities and cut jobs.
Transsion Tecno Electronics is a joint venture between China and Pakistan that began production in early 2019 as part of the CPEC initiative. The company employed 12 Chinese managers, 400 Pakistani engineers, and 2,500 employees, producing 300,000 smartphones per month. However, the inability to open Letters of Credit since January 2023 has caused a shortage of raw materials, forcing the company to halt production and cut jobs.
Ahsan’s letter also highlighted that 30 other mobile phone manufacturers, including global brands like Samsung, Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, Nokia, Tecno, Infinix, and Itel, are facing similar issues. The situation has forced these companies to also cut jobs and halt business activities.
The CEO of Tecno Pack Electronics, a joint venture with Transsion Tecno, Aamir Allawala, revealed that around 30 to 40 Chinese engineers were working across the industry, with more than half leaving due to the lack of work.
The mobile manufacturing industry is a vital sector for Pakistan’s economy, providing employment to thousands of people and contributing to the country’s GDP. The government must take immediate action to resolve the issues faced by the industry and revive it before it faces complete shutdown.