Pakistan imported a whopping $1.946 billion worth of mobile phones during the July-May period of 2021-22. Compared to the figure of $1.860 billion over the same period last year, this development represents a boost of 4.62 percent.
The data, courtesy of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) is interesting given the increase in the local manufacturing of phones.
Overall, telecom imports for the country grew by 11.5 percent over the past year, going up from $2.337 billion to $2.597 billion.
The PBS data suggested that, on a monthly basis, imports of mobile phones into Pakistan decreased by 35.54 percent during May 2022 and remained at $137.213 million when compared to $212.881 million imported in April 2022.
Meanwhile, on a year-on-year basis, mobile phones witnessed a 21.82 percent negative growth in May 2022 when compared to $175.501 million in May 2021.
On a month-on-month basis, the overall telecom imports into the country witnessed a drop of 33.50 percent during May 2022 and remained at $183.985 million, when compared to the imports of $276.652 million in April 2022.
On a year-on-year basis, overall telecom imports experienced 16.60 percent negative growth when compared to $220.559 million in May 2021. Other apparatus imports during July-May 2021-22 increased by 36.66 percent and remained at $651.323 million compared to $476.612 million in July-May 2020-21.
The increase in mobile imports despite the increase in locally manufactured handset is certainly noteworthy. According to PTA data, of the over 9 million mobile phones that were manufactured locally, 53 percent are smartphones while 47 percent are 2G devices on the Pakistan network.