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HP to set up PC assembly plant in KSA

HP has announced plans to set up a PC assembly plant in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to roll out 80,000 PCs each year across the region.

HP has announced plans to set up a plant in Saudi Arabia for the assembly of PCs. Construction of the plant, which will be based in Riyadh, will begin in July 2003 and the first PCs from the facility will be rolled out in the local market by the third quarter. The plant will be built and managed by Saudi-based SNAS Trading & Contracting Co.

Two HP partners — Nahil Distribution and Jeraisy Computer Communications Services (JCCS) — will initially distribute PCs from the plant within the Kingdom, while Aptec will be responsible for distribution around the Middle East. However, the vendor plans to tie up with more partners to increase the range of its distribution to other parts of the region.

“Since our announcement six months ago that HP intended to set up this facility in the Kingdom, we have been busy finalising all of the details relating to this highly significant venture in the Middle East,” says Christoph Schell, general manager, HP Personal Systems Group in the Middle East. “Our announcement today means that we are well positioned to move forward quickly in establishing the plant, and growing the PC market in the Kingdom.”

The plant is expected to produce 80,000 PCs each year for sale across the Middle East region. In addition to supporting the local Saudi economy, the vendor also hopes to enable more rapid delivery of product to the local market.

“Since the majority of the employees within the plant will be Saudi nationals, we see this as a significant move by both HP and SNAS in driving Saudisation,” says Bassam Mahmoud Jabr, general manager of SNAS. “We are looking to put in place a strong core team at the plant whose skills we will develop together with HP on an ongoing basis.”

While HP will focus on providing components, system integration and knowledge transfer, SNAS will be responsible for the manufacturing process, quality certification and the establishment and maintenance of the legal entity under Saudi regulations.

“We see the establishment of this plant as crucial in helping us to address the particular needs of small to medium businesses in the Kingdom and around the region,” says Schell. “The new facility is designed to complement our existing, extensive portfolio of products and to help us grow the PC market in the region.”

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