By Tahir Amin
Pakistan imported mobile phones worth $856.727 million during the first five months (July-November) of 2021 compared to $724.083 million during the same period of last year, registering a growth of 18.32 percent, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
The overall telecom imports into the country during the period under review (July-November) 2021 increased by 26.43 percent by going up from $896.592 million in July-November 2020 to $1.133 billion in July-November 2021.
On a month-on-month basis, imports of mobile phones into Pakistan increased by 41.64 percent during November 2021 and remained $212.055 million when compared to $149.712 million imported in October 2021, the PBS data revealed.
On year-on-year basis, mobile phones witnessed an increase of 27.65 percent when compared to $166.121 million in November 2020.
On month-on-month basis, the overall telecom imports into the country increased by 37.50 percent during November 2021 and remained $286.957 million, when compared to the imports of $208.699 million in October 2021.
On year on basis overall telecom imports witnessed 40.02 percent growth when compared to $204.947 million in November 2020. Other apparatus imports during July-November 2021 increased by 60.46 percent and remained $276.804 million compared to $172.509 million in July-November 2020.
Other apparatus imports registered 26.98 percent growth on month-on-month basis and remained $74.902 million in November 2021 compared to $58.987 million in October 2021 and registered 92.92 percent growth when compared to $38.826 million in November 2020.
The production of mobile phones by local manufacturing plants has almost doubled of commercial mobile phones imported in the country during Jan-October 2021 as the local production was recorded at 18.87 million compared to the imported mobile phones of 9.45 million. However, despite the increase in local production of mobile phones, the import remained on high side.
The government had introduced a mobile manufacturing policy to encourage and attract manufacturers to establish their units in Pakistan. The PTA in light of the policy issued Mobile Device Manufacturing (MDM) Regulations on 28th January 2021.
Till now, 26 companies have been issued MDM Authorisation enabling them to manufacture mobile devices in Pakistan. The companies include renowned brands e.g. Samsung, Nokia, Oppo, TECNO, Infinix, Vgotel, Q-mobile etc. Commercial imports against manufacturing trends can be seen at the PTA website, the authority added.
The story was originally published in Business Recorder on December 19 2021.