Samsung, LG eye Baltic states
Tuesday, February 5, 2008, 15:23
Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics are gearing up to increase investment in three Baltic countries that have been ignored so far.
Samsung Electronics Tuesday said it is considering building a manufacturing plant to produce low-priced handsets and flat screen TV sets in one of three Baltic states ― Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia ― on expectations that the region will continue its solid pace.
“We are doing extensive research on the Baltic market for additional investment but nothing has been decided yet,” a Samsung spokesman said.
In January, the electronics giant established a new sales company in Latvia in an effort to gain greater presence in the Baltic region. Samsung set up its first sales in Latvia nine years ago.
According to industry estimates, the Baltic region has emerged as a “blue ocean” as the regional economies have been showing annual growth rates of between 7% and 10% over the past couple of years. Foreign direct investment is also pouring into the three countries.
Samsung forecast that the information technology sector in the region will rise 18% this year, helped by the growing demand for 3G phones, LCD monitors and other built-in home appliances.
“The proportion of premium lineups has already exceeded 50% of the total in the region,” the spokesman said.
LG Electronics, Samsung’s rival, is also poised to increase its marketing expenses there, while strengthening distribution networks and hiring more staff to sell freezers, handsets and digital TVs.
“Given previous results, we are positive about taking 25% of the market in the long run,” an LG spokesperson said.
The two companies have been struggling to secure “next markets” in a bid to shy away from their high dependence on North America and Europe. (Koreatimes)