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Monday, July 22, 2024  
15 Muharram 1446  

Pakistan imported over $1.3 billion worth of phones this year

Mobile phone imports rose by 181.26% from July to March
File photo
File photo

During the first nine months of the fiscal year 2023-24 (July-March), the country imported mobile phones worth $1.301 billion, marking a significant growth of 181.26 percent compared to $462.700 million during the same period in the previous fiscal year.

According to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), mobile phone imports in Pakistan experienced a month-on-month decline of 4.87 percent in March 2024. The imports stood at $153.051 million, down from $160.90 million in February 2024.

In March 2024, mobile phone imports witnessed a year-on-year growth of 930.92 percent, amounting to $153.051 million, in contrast to $14.846 million in March 2023.

Overall, the telecom imports for the period of July-March 2023-24 reached $1.623 billion, indicating a substantial growth of 117.90 percent compared to $744.971 million during the same period in the previous fiscal year.

On a year-on-year basis, telecom imports recorded a growth of 422.58 percent in March 2024, amounting to $189.042 million, compared to $36.175 million in March 2023.

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More cellphones made/assembled in Pakistan than imports in Jan

However, there was a 1.13 percent negative growth in overall telecom imports on a month-on-month basis in March 2024, as imports amounted to $191.201 million in February 2024.

In the first two months of the calendar year 2024 (January-February), local manufacturing/assembling plants produced 6.1 million mobile handsets, while only 0.3 million were imported commercially, according to official data.

In February, local manufacturing/assembling plants manufactured/assembled 3.83 million mobile handsets, while only 0.06 million were imported commercially.

Out of the total 6.1 million mobile phone handsets manufactured/assembled locally, 2.78 million were 2G phones and 3.35 million were smartphones. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) data indicates that 60 percent of mobile devices on the Pakistan network are smartphones, while 40 percent are 2G phones.

Local manufacturing/assembling of mobile handsets experienced a decline of approximately four percent in the calendar year 2023 due to import restrictions on mobile phone accessories, which led to limitations in opening letters of credit (LCs).

However, despite these restrictions, official data reveals that commercial imports of mobile handsets increased during this period.

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