Publish: 13 Mar 2020, 01:26 pm
As worries regarding coronavirus continue to rise, local manufacturers fear that a lengthy epidemic will have a serious impact on the production of mobile phones in Bangladesh.
“The production rate may drop by 30 to 40 percent,” Zakaria Shahid, managing director of Edison Group, the parent company of Symphony, and also general secretary of Bangladesh Mobile Phone Importers’ Association (BMPIA), expressed the fear.
Zakaria said although the local companies are manufacturing different handsets in their factories they import most of the raw materials from China.
But China shut many of its factories following the coronavirus outbreak.
Currently, nine factories are manufacturing handsets of different brands, including that of Samsung, Symphony, Walton, Oppo, Vivo, Realme, Vibestar, Kingstar, and Transsion in the country, he said.
“Due to novel coronavirus, a stalemate has been created in China recognized as the global hub for mobile handset production. The import of electronic raw materials from there has partially remained stopped for several weeks as the country is now almost isolated from the rest of the world. If the situation prolongs, we may have to suspend mobile handset production due to shortage of raw materials,” he said.
Raw materials import from China has dropped by 50 percent in recent weeks. If the situation lingers, Bangladesh factories would suffer a short supply of raw materials for their production. Even, the production rate may fall by 30 to 40 percent soon, he said,
Rezwanul Haque, chief executive officer of Transsion Bangladesh, a subsidiary of Transsion Holdings, said around 60 percent of the handsets currently available in local markets are manufactured in the nine factories of the country.
Coronavirus has affected the Bangladeshi mobile handset market as raw materials import from China has declined to a large extent.
“We’re failing to launch new products due to the shortage of raw materials. Besides, our production has slowed down. The situation will worsen if the crisis prolongs,” he added.
According to BMPIA, Walton, Symphony, Transsion, Vivo, and Oppo do not import handsets directly. They all assemble the handsets in local factories after importing raw materials.
Mesbah Uddin Ahmed, chief marketing officer of Fair Electronics, the local manufacturer of Samsung handsets, said, “We import most of the raw materials from China. We’ll face a problem if this situation lingers.”
Currently, Fair Electronics is locally manufacturing around 1.2 to 1.3 lakh handsets. “The number may fall to 30,000 to 40,000 if the raw material crisis is not over,” he added.
The concern over coronavirus is growing as the death toll from it has reached 4,633 globally as of Thursday.
Besides, it has infected 126,367 people around the world, according to worldometer.
Of them, 53,430 are currently infected while 68,304 patients (94 percent of total infected) recovered.
Expressing alarm both about mounting infections and inadequate government responses, the World Health Organization on Wednesday declared that the global coronavirus crisis is now a pandemic but added that it is not too late for countries to act.