Acer ready to roar at Gitex

A massive portfolio of products and a new assembly joint venture in the Kingdom are driving Acer’s Saudi growth.

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By  the Gitex Times Staff Published  April 13, 2006

A massive portfolio of products and a new assembly joint venture in the Kingdom are driving Acer’s Saudi growth. Hardware giant Acer will reiterate its ongoing commitment to the Saudi market at this year’s Gitex show. Having recently finalised an in-country PC assembly joint venture with local manufacturer Advanced Electronics Company (AEC), Acer will promote its full range of products including notebooks, desktops, servers, LCD monitors and projectors. Gautham Reddy, marketing manager at Acer Middle East, claims that the vendor also wants to highlight its push into the consumer electronics and digital device space with an array of products including LCD TVs, digital cameras, MP3 players and media gateways. “Saudi Arabia is one of the largest markets in the Middle East. The Kingdom also contains the largest young population. By appearing at Gitex, Acer is re-emphasising its commitment to investing in the Saudi Market,” explains Reddy. “Overall, Gitex Saudi Arabia presents us with opportunities to communicate with the Saudi Market about Acer’s technologies.,” he adds. “Maintaining leadership in the retail market, aggressive promotions in the SMB space and penetration into corporate business are three of our strategic objectives in the Saudi market for 2006. Opportunities are high given the current economic growth and the young, technology savvy population.” Acer’s new assembly facility, which will be located in Riyadh, is expected to produce about 120,000 desktop PCs in its first two years of operation and will form part of AEC’s import substitution programme. Acer hopes that the new venture will allow it to tap into the Saudi corporate desktop market and also pave the way for participation in ‘PCs for homes’ initiatives. “The announcement can be viewed as a major expansion of Acer’s Saudi activity,” adds Philip Ashkar, sales and marketing director of Acer Middle East. “The Riyadh plant will open up massive inroads into the corporate segment, add a timely boost to efforts in the lucrative SMB space, as well as allowing Acer to further consolidate its position in the retail sector,” Ashkar continues. Acer had long expressed an interest in setting up a joint venture facility in Saudi Arabia and has been searching for the right partner. HP’s Riyadh-based local assembly facility has played a pivotal role in its ability to supply thousands of desktop units for contracts with clients such as the Ministry of Education and also allowed it to take part in PCs for homes initiatives in the Kingdom. Emanuele Accolla, VP Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Acer, claimed that the deal demonstrated the vendor’s confidence in AEC’s manufacturing capability and also underlined Acer’s long-term commitment to the Saudi market. Production is expected to exceed 60,000 units per year within the first two years out of the joint Saudi operation, and 60 job opportunities are expected to be created at AEC. A Saudi Economic Offset Programme Company, AEC is run under directives from the Saudi government, which launched its ‘PCs for homes’ initiative, designed to make the purchase of a PC more affordable for the general populace residing within the Kingdom.

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