Serving Iraq

With the Iraq market continuing to attract the interest of Dubai-based vendors and distributors, what are the prospects of successfully setting-up a business in the Iraqi IT sector? Channel Middle East investigates factors that channel stakeholders need to consider if they are to build a thriving partner business in that country

Tags: Emitac Distribution LLCGolden Systems Middle EastOptimus Technology and TelecomSAP
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Serving Iraq Public spending will drive IT growth in Iraq, says Kaul
By  Manda Banda Published  September 9, 2012

After a long wait, the Iraqi market is now experiencing a degree of stability and growth in the IT sector, with many Dubai-based distributors and vendors identifying the country as one of their key focus markets for 2012 and beyond. Iraq is looking to start a new era but will the changes that are happening in the political sphere also bring about the much needed investments in that country’s IT sector?

Not only is the Iraqi market showing potential, but it has also started to show signs of being a hungry consumer of new technology, steadily raising the barrier and opening up to the latest technology products and services.

The government’s commitment to infrastructure development and ICT investment across the board continues to be a major point of attraction for Dubai-based vendors, distributors and solution providers.

The potential in the Iraqi IT market is great news for the channel in the Middle East especially UAE-based distributors that would like to stake claim at the region’s most promising IT spot.

In fact, IT distributors operating out of Dubai namely Metra Computers, FDC International, Logicom Dubai, Almasa IT Distribution and Emitac Distribution all indicated in earlier interviews with Channel Middle East this year to harbour plans of either setting up new subsidiaries in Iraq or enhancing their current operations in that country.

On the other hand, vendors such as Microsoft, SAP, Kaspersky Lab, Cisco, Dell, HP, Acer, Intel, LG, Samsung, Toshiba and Lenovo, have continued to invest in programmes, channel partnerships and infrastructure that will maximise their exposure to Iraq’s ICT buyers.

While there is no denying the IT market potential in Iraq, there are some important challenges, not least the prospect of a significant skills shortage as suppliers try to keep pace with demand for new technology, exacting logistical requirements and in-country presence.

Published data from the top four ISPs in Iraq namely, Halasat Telecom, Earthlink, Rose Telecom and ATS-Iraq, estimates that five million Iraqis have access to the Internet as of 2010.

According to market research firm Companiesandmarkets.com, for example, Iraq had just more than 25 million mobile subscribers at the end of June 2011. This, states the research firm reflected a growth rate of 2.0% quarter-on-quarter and 10.4% year-on-year. Companiesandmarkets.com also states that with more than 25 million mobile subscribers at the end of last year, Iraq’s mobile penetration rate stands at 75.6%.

According to the market research firm, by the end of 2015, Iraq’s mobile penetration rate will have risen to almost 93% and will in the process also spur internet penetration.

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