Intel Corporation has decided to expand its regional operations. Offices have recently opened in Saudi Arabia and Egypt and specialists have been located in Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait and Morocco. New distributors have also been appointed throughout the region in addition to millions of dollars invested in the training, marketing and professional support provided to local assemblers.
“As the economy of the region matures and markets become more sophisticated, strong growth in GDP is driving IT momentum. For example, Jordan and Lebanon have already scrapped import duties on IT-related products, Saudi Arabia has reduced duties and Egypt plans to offer free Internet access by the end of this year,” asserted Maan Ahmadie, channel business manager at Intel Middle East and North Africa.
“We have the emergence of many Internet portals and massive investment in telecommunications infrastructure. Combined with the fact that 50 percent of the population is under 18, we have all the ingredients for sustained growth. Additionally it is believed at the moment that the cumulative build-out of the Internet globally is only currently running at just above 10 percent of its anticipated final size,” Ahmadie added.
Despite the slowdown in the global economy, solid growth in the Middle East’s IT industry is being fuelled by a phenomenal surge in Internet usage and initiatives by several governments to boost hi-tech development, particularly in education.
The growth potential of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is amply demonstrated by comparison with Europe, Ahmadie asserted. Regional portable computer penetration lags Europe and the USA by a factor of 10, with PC sales for this year projected at two million in a population of 250 million. European sales alone are about 15 times higher than this for a population of only 20 percent bigger at just over 300 million. — (menareport.com)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )