Trickle down effect of COVID-19 in China being witnessed by mobile business in KP

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By Ijaz Ahmad

SWAT, Mar 29 (APP):The Corona Virus pandemic that is wreaking havoc across the globe has badly hit the mobile phones business in Pakistan. Pakistan’s mobile business activities are likely to stay in red zone amid coronavirus fears .Over millions of people associated with smart phones trade are facing numerous troubles also having great impact on Mobile phones users as well.

During a visit to different markets of the mobile parts and accessories it was witnessed that the rates are increasing with every passing day, while market running items are short due to which the whole sale dealers sell those on high rates, thus directly affecting the general public and mobile users, twin brothers and whole sale dealers in Peshawar Wahab Mohmand and Shahab Mohmand, running their business in main sadder, informed APP.

They said that they were paying huge money in term of rental of the shops in posh areas but the trade become zero as far as visit of the customers, small shop keepers so the government should take steps and facilitate the people losing million of rupees on daily basis.

Another businessman hailing from Khawzakhala, Swat Shah Faisal, who is also running his mobile business in City Mobile Plaza and Mingora Swat when contacted, said, Malakand Region was Pakistan’s second largest division and mobile phones business was on its peak especially at Swat where large segment of society was attached to this business.

He said, in the pre-terrorism era, the people of Swat were mostly attached with tourism industry but soon after going toward a complete normalcy, most of the people invested millions in mobile phone businesses where majority have only it as a single source of income.Shah Faisal said that everyday a large number of people from different walks of life were seen in mobile phone markets located in Mingora city,either selling or buying smart phones in these markets while the small shopkeepers of the adjacent areas including Dir Upper, Dir Lower, Buner, Chitral etc.visit the place to purchase mobiles accessories.Due to recent coronavirus out break these markets were seen less crowded as people were confined to their houses but those running the business have to pay huge amount in terms of rent, electricity bills and other routine expenditures, he informed. Mobile phone business ratio is decreasing day by day; this phenomenon was causing anxiety among the Swat’s Mobile phone business community.

Usman 40, who is Vice President of Swat’s, Mobile Phones Industry, has said that Mobile phones industry was suffering a lot from the coronavirus spread which severely hit the business. He said that China was the biggest exporter of trending mobile phones in the market. “Now we are selling out products which we have in stock as Pakistan has suspended trade activities with China, he said adding, “we are facing very hard circumstances.”

“Actually mobile companies in China were closed due to coronavirus, manufacturing process has slowed down and trade borders are blocked. We have paid advanced payment to the relevant mobiles companies for ordering but now in the current situation our orders are stuck at China, Usman added. He said due to the shortage of accessories the prices were jumped up to double in the market whose impact is directly on the consumers.

Talha Khan 25, doing mobile phones business has informed APP that mobile business was disturbed due to border closure the whole sellers have increased accessories and mobiles parts rates as a result of which consumers have become buying averse because single mobile cover which cost Rs.200 were now being sold for Rs 400, due to which their businesses suffered a lot.

Barkat Khan 39, a mobile dealer, said ,”we have signed agreements with mobile phone companies in China, normally we were selling 10 mobile phone sets of these relevant companies and they were bound to dispatch 20 mobile phone sets but since since last one month we are getting less quantity of phones from them.”

It has been learnt that recently China has become the central manufacturing hub of many global business operations; a slowdown in Chinese production has repercussions for any given country depending on how reliant its industries are on Chinese suppliers.According to estimates published by UNCTAD, the slowdown of manufacturing in China due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is disrupting world trade and could result in a $50 billion decrease in exports across global value chains.

KP Mobile Business Community has appealed to the government authorities that they should form a proper strategy for the traders having business ties with China.

Pakistan should take measures by building up factories where mobile related items could be manufactured in the entire country where both the traders and government will be benefited. It is pertinent to mention here that beside mobiles phone business, It is high time that the UN, WHO and other donor countries should be come and join hands to address the problems of the people of under-develop countries like Pakistan.