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During the first ten months (July-April) of the current fiscal year 2023-24, the country imported mobile phones worth $1.462 billion, marking a significant growth of 209.07 percent compared to $473.287 million during the same period of the previous fiscal year. In local currency terms, mobile phone imports amounted to Rs. 414.276 billion, a 279.52 percent increase from Rs. 109.158 billion in the same period last year. According to data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), mobile phone imports rose by 5.44 percent on a month-on-month (MoM) basis in April 2024, reaching $161.393 million compared to $153.045 million in March 2024.

On a year-on-year (YoY) basis, mobile phone imports surged by 1424.42 percent in April 2024, compared to $10.587 million in April 2023. Overall telecom imports into the country stood at $1.834 billion for July-April 2023-24, a growth of 135.44 percent from $77.359 million during the same period of the last fiscal year. Year-on-year, overall telecom imports increased by 515.52 percent, reaching $211.663 million in April 2024 compared to $34.388 million in April 2023. On a month-on-month basis, overall telecom imports grew by 12.02 percent in April 2024, up from $188.942 million in March 2024.

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Local manufacturing and assembling plants produced 6.1 million mobile handsets in the first two months (January-February) of 2024, compared to 0.3 million commercially imported units. In February alone, 3.83 million mobile handsets were manufactured or assembled locally, compared to 0.06 million imported commercially. The 6.1 million locally produced handsets included 2.78 million 2G and 3.35 million smartphones. According to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), 60 percent of mobile devices on the Pakistani network are smartphones, while 40 percent are 2G phones.

Local manufacturing and assembling of mobile handsets declined by about four percent during the calendar year 2023, primarily due to issues with importing mobile phone accessories as a result of restrictions on opening letters of credit (LCs). Despite these restrictions, commercial imports of mobile handsets increased during this period.

The Minister of State for IT and Telecommunication, Shaza Fatima Khawaja, noted that 35 mobile manufacturing companies are operating in the country. However, only 0.2 million mobile phones were exported.

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