Battered Asian distributors mull over regional cooperation

Battered Asian distributors mull over regional cooperation

Southeast Asian distributors are thinking about regional cooperation to boost their marketing power and enable the sharing of resources to better cope with the effects of the financial turmoil in Asia, according to a report released last week by a Hong Kong-based market researcher.

Initiated by Narong Intanate, president of Thailand-based IT wholesaler Value Systems, the plan calls for the establishment of a holding company owned by distributors in Southeast Asia which would function as a regional strategic alliance, the New Century Group report said.

Greater influence

By combining their efforts, the alliance would give its members greater bargaining power when negotiating with major IT suppliers, noted the market researcher.

The initiative comes as the Asian financial crisis begins to be felt throughout the region, with countries such as Indonesia and Thailand already seeing sales of PCs and related equipment plummeting to new lows.

In Indonesia, for example, where the currency has lost as much as 80 per cent of its value, PC sales in last year's fourth quarter were down 40 per cent compared to the same period in 1996, according to IDC research.

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