Chinese mobile phone maker Transsion Holdings is set to establish a device assembling plant in Bangladesh over the next few months, making it the first foreign brand to do so.
The government has slashed the customs duty for mobile components meant for local assembling by 36 percentage points to 1 percent in the last budget, which has piqued the interest of many local and global players.
At the same time, the government doubled the customs duty on handset import to 10 percent, which made Transsion's decision to set up the assembling plant easier, said Rezwanul Haque, chief executive officer of Transsion Bangladesh.
Transsion has targeted to market its locally-assembled devices -- both smart and feature phones -- from the second quarter of next year, he said.
It has completed all planning, with commercial assembling scheduled to start in the middle of next year.
“This can encourage the other global brands to come here and set up plants,” he said, while declining to disclose Transsion's planned investment on the plant.
As of now, local brand Walton is marketing its locally-assembled devices, while local ICT service provider Aamra has announced plans to set up a mobile assembling plant.
“Our first target is to cater to the local market and then will plan about the export market,” said Haque, who is the immediate past general secretary of the Bangladesh Mobile Phone Importers' Association.
Transsion's assembly plant, which will be located in Gazipur, will look to pull together 5 lakh units per month with its 1,000 member-strong workforce.
The company will file its application for the assembly plant with the telecom regulator in the first week of January.
“Before filing the application, we will make sure that all the requirements are fulfilled,” Haque said, adding that he is happy with the arrangements so far.
At present, Transsion has presence in 58 countries in the world and is running three factories outside of China: India, Nigeria and Ethiopia.
In 2016, 3.12 crore units of handsets worth Tk 8,000 crore were imported.