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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan imported mobile phones worth $1.09 billion during the first half (July-December) of 2021 compared to $938.819 million during the same period of last year, registering a growth of 16.17 percent, despite the increase in local manufacturing, according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

The overall telecom imports into the country during the period under review (July-December) 2021 increased by 23.18 percent by going up from $1.155 billion in July-December 2020 to $1.423 billion in July-December 2021.

On a month-on-month basis, imports of mobile phones into Pakistan increased by 10.30 percent during December 2021 and remained $233.89 million when compared to $212.058 million imported in November 2021, the PBS data revealed.

On year-on-year basis, mobile phones witnessed an increase of 8.92 percent when compared to $214.736 million in December 2020.

On month-on-month basis, the overall telecom imports into the country increased by 3.41 percent during December 2021 and remained $293.212 million, when compared to the imports of $283.537 million in November 2021. On year-on-year basis, overall telecom imports witnessed 13.27 percent growth when compared to $258.865 million in December 2020. Other apparatus imports during July-December 2021 increased by 53.58 percent and remained $332.70 million compared to $216.638 million in July-December 2020.

Other apparatus imports registered 17.01 percent negative growth on month-on-month basis and remained $59.32 million in December 2021 compared to $71.479 million in November 2021 and registered 34.43 percent growth when compared to $44.129 million in December 2020.

The production of mobile phones by local manufacturing plants has witnessed a significant increase of 3.25 million in November 2021 and the total production reached 22.12 million in the first 11 months of the current calendar year.

The production of mobile phones by local manufacturing plants has more than doubled against the import of commercial mobile phones in the country during January-November 2021 as the local production was recorded at 22.12 million compared to the imported mobile phones of 9.95 million.

However, despite the increase in local production of mobile phones, Pakistan’s mobile phones imports are increasing.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) data revealed that the local manufacturing trend reflects a positive uptake on the PTA’s Mobile Device Manufacturing (MDM) Authorisation regulatory regime, whereby, local manufacturing within the first year of regime introduction has resulted in production of 22.12 million phones in a short span of 11 months, including 9.03 million 4G smartphones.

As per the PTA data, 52 percent mobile devices are smartphones and 48 percent 2G on Pakistan network.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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