Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/10/2014 -- Pakistan continues to present major challenges to vendors, and underperform its potential due to a myriad of economic, social and political risks. However, the large population and rising incomes means there are still opportunities for vendors. Although political and security concerns remain, the economic environment is supportive of expansion, with rising incomes, consumption growth, and encouragingly, private sector credit growth as also recovered from its recent trough. The opportunity provided by the large population and economic environment has been sufficient to attract investment from multinational consumer electronics market leaders such as LG, while others have increased presence and strengthening distribution and retail channels. Nonetheless, challenges remain, including the large grey market, poor IP protection, an unstable economic and security situation, and weak distribution channels.
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Headline Expenditure Projections
Computer Sales: US$372mn in 2013 to US$393mn in 2014, +5.8% in US dollar terms. The commercial PC market has strengthened, with demand from consumers, enterprises and the public sector.
AV Sales: US$782mn in 2013 to US$868mn in 2014, +11.0% in US dollar terms. Cheaper IPTV services are helping to drive demand for flat-screen TV sets, but demand remains centred on lower value devices.
Handset Sales: US$857mn in 2013 to US$926mn in 2014, +8.1% in US dollar terms. Smartphone sales have been rising rapidly, but from a low base, and the lack of 3G services continues to stymie faster growth.
Key Trends And Developments
- The telecoms market continues to be negatively impacted by the taxation regime. An import tax on handsets was introduced by the Pakistan government in April 2013, and led to immediate increases in the prices of some phones. The measure is expected to boost demand for less expensive Chinese imports that gain some exceptions due to the China-Pakistan Free-Trade Agreement. The market is expected to continue growing, but underperform its potential in the absence of 3G licensing and a restructuring of the taxation regime.
- Meanwhile, in the PC market vendors face the significant challenge of imports of used computers, particularly from countries such as China. The government has denied reports it plans to ban imports of used computers, which is a measure strongly opposed by local retailers. The price differential between an imported second-hand computer and a new one is considerable, according to local importers.
- The TV sets segment is forecast to experience a compound annual growth rate of about 12% as consumers replace black and white and analogue sets with colour and LCD models. About 49% of TV sets sold each year are still black and white. If the government is unable to crack down on smuggled goods, growth could be slower than this.
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