KARACHI – The Transsion Tecno Electronics, mobile phone production facility initiated under CPEC in Pakistan has been forced to shut down operations due to a shortage of raw materials and components amid curbs on imports by the government.
Former Board of Investment (BoI) chairman Azfar Ahsan raised the concerns in a letter to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. He said the production facility was a joint venture between China and Pakistan and it started production in early 2019 as an initiative under CPEC Phase II B2B cooperation. “The company produced 300,000 smartphones per month. They also offered employment to 12 Chinese managers, 400 Pakistani engineers, and 2500 male and female employees,” the letter said.“In addition to Transsion Tecno Electronics, 30 other mobile phone manufacturers, including global brands Samsung, Xiaomi, Vivo, OPPO, Nokia, Tecno, Infinix and Itel, are facing similar issues,” he wrote.
Shortage of raw materials and inability to open letters of credit since January 2023 have forced this situation, putting jobs and the economy at risk, he added.
“Massive layoffs are creating a further negative impact. The industry needs USD 100 million per month to stay afloat at even 50% capacity and to retain the 35,000-40,000 direct and indirect jobs created by the same,” he said.
Mr Ahsan sought immediate interference from the prime minister to revive operations of this labor-intensive industry. “In these trying times of economic uncertainty, it is critical for Pakistan to maintain the trust of foreign and local investors so that growth is spurred, and employment opportunities are generated again,” he said.