HP awaits green light to enter Iran and Iraq
AM:11:06:15/04/2014

HP awaits green light to enter Iran and Iraq

Dubai: Hewlett-Packard is looking at entering Iran and Iraq and sees big opportunistic markets in the future, a top official told Gulf News.

Many Western companies have been making exploratory visits to Iran in the hopes that sanctions may be lifted further.

The European Union and the United States tightened sanctions on banks and the oil industry in 2010 amid suspicions that Iran’s nuclear programme had military aims.

"We are waiting for the green signal from the World Trade Organisation and HP worldwide to give us the direction of when,” said Mathew Thomas, general manager for printing and personal systems at HP Middle East. "As of now, we have permission to travel to Iran and do a feasibility of the market.”

He said that these two markets are going to be important for the company and that it would be a big opportunity if they open up.

HP does not have a direct presence in Iraq but does business through second-tier resellers.

"We are studying very closely to open an office in Iraq,” he said. "I am hopeful that something should happen this year. I am in touch with all the American companies and the rest of my partners to see if there is any movement.”

Thomas is confident of HP regaining its lost ground very shortly after losing its top PC manufacturer status to Lenovo.

According to Gartner, PC shipments in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (Emea) totalled 22.9 million units in the first quarter of this year, registering a growth of 0.3 per cent from the same period last year.

HP retained the top vendor position in the Emea market and its shipments grew 15.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2014, while Lenovo’s market share increased from 11.3 per cent to 15.2 per cent during the same time period.

"What we have seen in the region is double-digit growth in retail, SMB, commercial and enterprise segments in the first half of our financial year,” Thomas said. "Overall, we had a very good growth across the Middle East, especially from Egypt and Lebanon.”

He said the retail segment in the UAE is getting a boost from tourism and overall positive sentiment. The growth in the corporate segment is partly due to the transition from Windows XP and a lot of new projects coming online.

Source: By Naushad K Cherrayil Staff Reporter

Gulf News 2014. All rights reserved.


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