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Wed 22 Dec 2004 04:00 AM

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Acer mulls Saudi assembly

PC giant Acer is considering establishing an assembly plant in Saudi Arabia, the Middle East’s largest PC market. A final decision is expected in the first week of January.

PC giant Acer is considering establishing an assembly plant in Saudi Arabia, the Middle East’s largest PC market. A final decision is expected in the first week of January.

“Saudi is a large market and we are doing a feasibility study to see if it is viable to have an assembly plant in Saudi Arabia,” confirmed Krishna Murthy, general manager at Acer Middle East. “We have been doing our homework, gathering information and will come to a conclusion in January.”

The last nine months have seen Acer catapult to the top of the table for Saudi laptop sales, according to analysts at IDC. Acer has also been successful in winning tenders in the Kingdom’s lucrative education sector. An assembly facility would add to Acer’s magic Kingdom formula and allow the vendor to grab even more market share.

Desktop and laptops units assembled locally are exempt from 5% duty making them highly competitive in terms of price. With the numbers that Acer is now selling into Saudi and the rest of the GCC, it may make economic sense to manufacture locally and save both on duty and logistics costs.

If Acer does give the nod to an assembly plant, it would become the second vendor to manufacture in Saudi Arabia. HP set up an assembly line last year and is currently ramping up PC production to supply both the Saudi market and other markets in the wider GCC region. No doubt rival PC vendors will be spending their New Year awaiting Acer’s final decision.

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