Local Production of Phones Doubles Compared to Imports in 2021

The production of mobile phones by local manufacturing plants in Pakistan increased as much as double the number of commercial mobile phones imported in the country during January-October 2021, as the local production was recorded at 18.87 million compared to 9.45 million imported mobile phones.

The imports still remained high, as mobile phones worth $644.673 million were imported during the first four months (July-October) of the fiscal year 2021-22 compared to $557.961 million during the same period last year, registering a growth of 15.54 percent.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) data reveals that this trend reflects a positive uptake on the PTA’s Mobile Device Manufacturing (MDM) Authorization regulatory regime, whereby, local manufacturing within the first year of regime introduction has resulted in the production of 18.87 million phones in a short span of 10 months including 7.93 million 4G smartphones. As per the PTA data, 52 percent of mobile devices are smartphones and 48 percent are 2G.

The successful implementation of the Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) along with conducive government policies including the mobile manufacturing policy has created a favorable environment for mobile device manufacturing in Pakistan.

It has also positively contributed to the mobile ecosystem of Pakistan by eliminating the counterfeit device market providing a level-playing field for commercial entities, and has created trust among consumers due to the formulation of standardized legal channels for all sorts of device imports.

The government had introduced the mobile manufacturing policy to encourage and attract manufacturers to establish their units in Pakistan. In light of the policy, PTA issued Mobile Device Manufacturing Regulations on 28 January 2021.

Till now, 26 companies have been issued MDM Authorization, enabling them to manufacture mobile devices in Pakistan. The companies include renowned brands, e.g., Samsung, Nokia, Oppo, TECNO, Infinix, Vgotel, and QMobile etcetera.

The establishment of 26 manufacturing plants has brought in an investment of over $126 million and created over 10,000 jobs in a span of 10 months.

According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data, the overall telecommunication imports into the country during July-October 2021 increased by 22.40 percent, going up from $691.644 million in July-October 2020 to $846.553 million in July-October 2021.

On a month-on-month basis, the imports of mobile phones decreased by 28.37 percent during October 2021 and remained $149.713 million compared to $209.013 million imported in September 2021, revealed the PBS data. On a year-on-year basis, mobile phone imports witnessed an increase of 130.08 percent compared to $65.069 million in October 2020.

On a month-on-month basis, the overall telecommunication imports decreased by 22.95 percent during October 2021 and remained $208.678 million compared to the imports of $270.823 million in September 2021. On a year-on-year basis, the overall telecommunication imports witnessed 105.82 percent growth compared to $101.390 million in October 2020.