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Tue 21 Jan 2003 04:00 AM

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BenQ looks to Iranian market to grow re-export business

Electronics manufacturer BenQ is targetting an increased share of the Iranian IT market through improved local relationships

BenQ is setting its sights on a larger slice of the Iranian market. The company is predicting that over 800,000 new PCs will be sold in Iran this year, and through stronger ties with local PC manufacturers, the components manufacturer aims to take a bigger share of that total.The Iranian PC market is served mostly by locally assembled units, imported as kit form, making it a very attractive proposition to component and peripheral companies such as BenQ. Strict import restrictions and high taxes make Iran a difficult market to crack, however. To counter this, BenQ is working more closely with local manufacturers and through a local liaison office to facilitate business.“Nobody knows the real size of the Iranian consumer electronics market, but we estimate that over 800,000 personal computers will be sold in Iran in 2003,” explained Said Keighobad, general manager, Iran liaison office, BenQ Middle East. “It has significant potential for growth and we take it very seriously. Local assembly and representation is very important, with almost 90% of the computers and monitors being produced within the country from kits supplied from abroad."At BenQ, we work with Isiran, the country’s biggest PC manufacturer, which builds and distributes many of our products within Iran. Our partnership with Isiran is also critical for brand recognition. The annual computer exhibition in Iran draws over three million people, so by sharing a stand with the country’s top IT company, we’re making a bold statement about our presence there.”One of the key elements of the Iranian market that BenQ is hoping to leverage is the large number of young people in Iran, which the company intends to be able to market high end technology products to, Keighobad said.“With such a young population, people in Iran are always on the look out for the newest and the best technology. We aim to supply that demand and are launching big marketing campaigns to support the launch of products like our new range of LCD monitors. In addition, many young Iranians are travelling to Dubai, so our marketing efforts here are rewarded by booming sales back in Iran,” he said.“BenQ represents all that is possible when IT products are designed with users in mind,” said Robert Dung, managing director, BenQ Middle East. “BenQ aims to be the leader in the region’s consumer electronics market within five years, by offering high-value, low-cost technology to Middle East buyers. Meeting demand for new quality products in Iran is one of the many ways we’re achieving that.”

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