Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/27/2014 -- Despite a deteriorating economic situation in Venezuela, with inflation at around 50%, for example, the government decided to stay the course, posing further risks to an already-poor business environment. This will further shrink the private sector, exacerbate shortages and worsen market distortions. As a fairly small market in the region, it has plenty of opportunities for growth, with low PC penetration and government programmes to boost sales. However, because of ICT connectivity weaknesses and an environment that is adverse to innovation, there will little scope for international vendors to compete.
Headline Expenditure Projections
Computer Hardware Sales: From VEB6.6bn in 2013 to VEB7.5bn in 2014. The weaker growth environment, as well as the ongoing depreciation of the bolivar, resulted in a downgrade to our forecast for 2014 as it increases the price of imported hardware. Cheap computer programmes, and the PCs for schools programmes is a driver of unit shipments.
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Software Sales: From VEB1.8bn in 2013 to VEB2.1bn in 2014. High levels of software piracy and the government's commitment to open source software will limit opportunities for proprietary software vendors.
IT Services Sales: From VEB1.6bn in 2013 to VEB1.9bn in 2014. We expect around 75% of demand will come from large companies, with the oil sector still significant despite the fall in oil prices. However, there is medium-term potential for IT services sales to SMEs, particularly cost-saving cloud computing services.
Venezuela's score remained flat in the Q214 update with the impact of the ongoing dereciation of the bolivar already factored into our forecasts.
Key Trends & Developments
The outlook for the PC market has worsened with the ongoing depreciation of the bolivar, however opportunities still exist in the market. Venezuelan computer shipments are forecast to continue to grow due to the government's affordable computer programmes, computers for education initiatives and more local production of inexpensive computers. The 'Va a mi Casa' programme has been extended to high school students. The latest target is for 2.6mn computers distributed by 2014. VIT announced three domestically produced tablets targeted at the local market that could see the trend of tablet sales growth hitting Venezuela in 2014.
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