During the initial four months (July-October) of the fiscal year 2023-24, Pakistan witnessed a surge in mobile phone imports, totaling $469.992 million. This reflects substantial growth of 107.91% compared to the same period last year, which recorded imports at $226.051 million.
October 2023 alone exhibited a 33.20% month-on-month increase in mobile phone imports, reaching $165.941 million, compared to $124.576 million in September 2023, as reported by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). On a year-on-year basis, mobile phone imports in October 2023 soared by 152.27% compared to $65.780 million in October 2022.
The broader telecom sector also experienced robust growth, with overall telecom imports reaching $606.865 million during July-October 2023, marking a substantial 75.60% increase from $345.595 million in the same period last fiscal year.
In October 2023, telecom imports showed a remarkable year-on-year growth of 114.65%, standing at $207.789 million compared to $96.805 million in October 2022. On a month-on-month basis, overall telecom imports increased by 30.94% in October 2023 compared to $158.688 million in September 2023.
Local manufacturers significantly contributed to the market by producing/assembling 13.02 million mobile handsets in the first nine months (January-September) of 2023, compared to 1.09 million commercially imported. In September 2023 alone, they manufactured/assembled 2.15 million mobile handsets versus 0.25 million commercially imported.
Despite a decline in manufacturing during 2022, attributed to challenges in imports due to restricted opening of letters of credit (LCs), local plants produced 21.94 million mobile handsets throughout the year, compared to 24.66 million in 2021, according to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). Notably, 57% of these mobile devices were smartphones, while 43% were 2G mobile phones.