Mobile phone imports in Pakistan faced a drastic decline in first 9 months of current fiscal year
Mobile phone imports in the country have witnessed a major decline of 7.6% during the first nine months (July to March) of the current fiscal year 2018-19. The mobile imports in the country remain as low as $557.187 million when compared with the same period last year where phone imports were reaching $603.046 million.
The government of Pakistan in the Budget 2018-19 has increased the customs duty on mobile phones which has demotivated foreign brands to come to Pakistan. As we reported last month, the govt has increased withholding tax on mobile phones and customs duty on smartphone sets has also been raised enormously.
Meanwhile, in March 2019, phone imports in the country reached $79.049 million with an increase of 2.64% as compared to $77.013 million imports in March 2018.
Similarly, March 2019’s figure was around 45% higher when compared to $54.320 million in February 2019. These figures were published in the latest statistical data report released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).
In addition, the all-inclusive telecom imports in the country also witnessed a major decline of 8.86% during July-March (2018-19) as compared to the same duration of the previous fiscal year. The total imports in the country were recorded at $1031.786 million during July-March (2018-19) when compared with $1132.038 million in July-March (2017-18). However, during last month, a 5.97% growth in overall imports has also been recorded. This figure reached $127.768 million in March 2019 as compared to $120.565 million during February 2019.
The government is open for business for many international companies to bring foreign direct investment in Pakistan. However, most of them avoid establishing their assembling plants in Pakistan, mainly due to a negative perception of Pakistan globally. Many Chinese smartphone brands and telecom companies are already working in Pakistan which has in return increased the imports of telecom gadgets in the country.