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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan imported mobile phones worth $1.596 billion during the first nine months (July-March) of 2021-22 compared to $1.535 billion during the same period of last year, registering a growth of 3.93 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-March) 2021-22 increased by 11.08 percent by going up from $1.923 billion in July-March2020-21 to $2.136 billion during the same period of last period.

On a month-on-month basis, imports of mobile phones into Pakistan increased by 29.47 percent during March 2022 and remained $183.894 million when compared to $142.033 million imported in February 2022, the PBS data revealed.

On year-on-year basis, mobile phones witnessed a decrease of 18.09 percent when compared to $224.503 million in March 2021.

On month-on-month basis, the overall telecom imports into the country increased by 22.87 percent during March 2022 and remained $267.124 million, when compared to the imports of $217.396 million in February 2022.

On year-on-year basis, overall telecom imports witnessed 12.01 percent decline when compared to $303.568 million in March 2021. Other apparatus imports during July-March 2021-22 increased by 39.45 percent and remained $540.198 million compared to $387.369 million in July-March 2020-21.

Other apparatus imports registered 10.44 percent growth on month-on-month basis and remained $83.230 million in March 2022 compared to $75.364 million in February 2022 and registered 5.27 percent growth when compared to $79.065 million in March 2022.

The local manufacturing plants have manufactured/assembled 3.94 million mobile phones handsets against 0.36 million commercially imported in February 2022, says Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).

The manufactured/assembled mobile phones handsets by local manufacturing plants during the calendar year 2021 stood at 24.66 million compared to 13.05 million in 2020, i.e. 88 percent increase.

The commercial imports of mobile phones handsets stood at 10.26 million in 2021 compared to 24.51 million in 2020, revealed the official data of the PTA.

The locally-manufactured/assembled 3.94 million mobile phones handsets include 2.38 million 2G and 1.56 million smartphones. Further, as per the PTA data, 53 percent mobile devices are smartphones and 47 percent 2G on Pakistan network.

However, despite the increase in local production of mobile phones, mobile phones worth $1.596 billion were imported during the first nine months (July-March) of 2021-22 compared to $1.535 billion during the same period of last year, registering a growth of 3.93 percent.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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