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South Korean Electronics Firms Entering Middle East Market
Jun 3, 2004
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South Korean electronics makers are moving to increase sales of high-end products in the Middle East, where people are eager to buy newer and better electronic appliances amid mounting oil prices, industry sources said.

Daewoo Electronics Co., said to be South Korea's third-biggest electronics producer, is the most anxious to capture the market among the nation's big three electronics firms, according to the sources.

The company held a meeting of its dealers last week in the Iranian capital of Tehran, showcasing state-of-the-art appliances such as digital set-top boxes, digital video disc recorders, nano silver washing machines, vitamin-emission air-conditioners, and refrigerators.

Daewoo saw its sales jump over 20 percent on-year in 2003 and now expects them to soar by over 30 percent in 2004.

"Amid an increase in earnings from oil sales, the Middle Eastern electronics market has been expanding fast, turning from analogue-based to digital-oriented," said Kang Chang-ik, head of the company's Africa-Middle East operations.

Samsung Electronics Co., said to be South Korea's leading electronics company, is also strengthening marketing activities for its premium goods in the region to meet special demand originating from the Iraqi rehabilitation project and rising oil prices. The electronics giant has been aggressively using sports marketing to enhance its recognition there since late last year.

Samsung posted sales of U.S. $2 billion in the Middle East and Africa last year, up from 40 percent from the preceding year. It is aiming to raise sales by over 30 percent on-year this year.

LG Electronics Inc., considered the second-largest among the big three, raised its sales target for this year by 30 percent as sales of its luxury products, such as plasma display panel TVs and handsets for the global system for mobile communications (GSM), grew significantly.

The Seoul-based company also invited more than 200 Middle Eastern buyers recently to its high-end product facilities in South Korea as part of its marketing tactics for the region.

LG said its sales in the Middle East has climbed by approximately 100 percent so far this year, compared with the same period last year, led by an upswing in sales of premium products in Iraq. (Yonhap)

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