People have to spend more to purchase mobile phones in Bangladesh compared to any foreign country because of high import duty, a top official of a leading Chinese handset maker said.
The grey market which is mainly fed by illegal and parallel imports is a big problem for the mobile phone industry in Bangladesh, said Kelvin Yang, country director of Huawei Consumer Business Group in Bangladesh
The government should introduce stricter rules and regulations to establish control over the unauthorised market for the sake of the industry, he said during an interview with The Daily Star recently.
Businesses have to pay over 31 percent import duty to bring in mobile phones from abroad, industry insiders said.
The import duty should be lowered and made reasonable to help the industry grow further, said Yang, who had earlier served as country director of Huawei devices in Tunisia prior to joining the Bangladesh office.
Huawei holds 16 percent market share in terms of units sold in Bangladesh and 20 percent share in terms of value of the products sold, said Yang, who joined Huawei in 2010.
Huawei is the third best seller in Bangladesh in smartphone business after Symphony and Samsung, he said.
“We are committed to our consumers to provide them with best quality products and for that we are bringing in handsets which are the best in class.”
Smartphone penetration now stands at over 35 percent in Bangladesh, Yang said.
The launch of 4G has created a huge potential for smartphones in Bangladesh and customers now deserve high quality products, he said.
All segments of customers—from the young to the middle aged—are using smartphones and still there is an ample scope for the sector to flourish further, especially in semi-urban and rural areas, he said.
Huawei, which is the second largest device manufacturer in terms of global shipment, started distributing one of its high-end flagship devices—Mate-20 pro—in Bangladesh on Monday at a price of Tk 89,990.
The product will be available from the first week of December and the customers who had earlier pre-booked the set are now getting it in advance.
“Customers will get best quality experience with the Mate-20 pro,” said Yang.
Earlier, Mate-20 pro was launched in October 16 in London for the global market and in October 26 for China.
The Chinese device maker has no plan to set up any mobile plant or research and development centre in Bangladesh now, he said. The government has lowered taxes for handset assembling in Bangladesh, which has encouraged five companies, including Samsung and Tecno, to go for local manufacturing.
Huawei is one of the fastest growing smartphone brands in Bangladesh and it now sells smartphones, tablets and laptops with branded and premium accessories, Yang said.
Currently, Huawei sells mobile phones of 11 models priced between Tk 7,390 to Tk 82,990 through 320 brand shops and 5,000 points of sale across the country.