Despite the economic slump due to Covid-19, mobile phone imports increased in Nepal. The statistics by Nepal’s Customs department has revealed that during the first six months of the current fiscal year 077/78, 3.6 MN units of smartphones were imported into the country, which is a significant increment of figures in the Nepalese market.
Covid-19 measures sent the country into nationwide lockdown. As a result, many people either lost their job or they were put on forced leave. However, the scenario turned into favor for smartphone companies as its sales soared to a record high.
Setopati sourcing Customs Department reported that the latest stats are higher than in the last fiscal year. In 076/77 till midway 2.9 MN smartphones landed in the country. It shows the increase by 7 hundred thousand this time around till Poush.
One of the reasons phone sales have surged is the phones entered Nepal via customs and not through illegal imports. Lockdown played its role in minimizing customs evaders as travels came to a grinding halt for months.
Deepak Malhotra, the chairman of Mobile Phone Importers’ Association (MPIA), stated that 40% of mobiles in Nepal came by illegal means and the lockdown did not allow that which benefited the country’s revenues too.
Nepal imports mobile phones from 42 countries in total. However, few countries such as China and India have almost run monopoly with a very high volume of shipments.
Chinese phones like Xiaomi have dominated the Nepali market as many Asian countries right now. Nepal imported Chinese brand phones worth of NRs. 14 BN. At the same time, Indian phones worth of NRs. 6.4 BN entered Nepal. Vietnam is another source of mobile phones for the Nepali market as it exported Nrs. 64.89 worth of phones in the current fiscal year. Samsung, the world leader is also doing great in Nepal with its affordable to average priced M series Phones.
Due to the high volume of imports of mobile phones, more than 20.63 BN worth of Nepali currency out flowed increasing the trade deficit further. However, due to the legal medium of business, it has helped the government to collect revenues in the region of NRs. 3.26 BN.
After the lockdown, schools and businesses all resorted to online practices. The government’s online emphasis, a growing number of smartphone users and online transactions, etc. have all played their part in increasing mobile phone import in this fiscal year and the graph may still increase further in the coming months.