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  • ASIA-PACIFIC -- A report from the International Data Corporation (IDC) projects that Asia-Pacific will surpass Europe as the world's second largest information technology market after the United States by the year 2000. By the year 2010, China is expected to surpass the U.S. as the world's biggest IT market. As the internet becomes increasingly popular in the Asia-Pacific region, electronic commerce is taking form through locally-specific products and services designed to attract a growing market of online consumers. In an effort to regulate the industry and promote business interests of the internet-related industry, a new association was formed in May -- the Asian Pacific Internet Association (APIA). Members come from New Zealand, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and China.

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    INDIA -- India's telecommunications industry is undergoing transformation including privatization and modernization, booming demand that exceeds supply and experts are projecting tremendous growth. In fact, India is positioned as one of the biggest telecommunications opportunities in the world. India's economic growth is 7% a year, and the government is implementing ongoing liberalization and privatization policies that make the telecommunications industry even more attractive to foreign investors. While India was one of the first countries in the world to establish a telephone system in the late 1800s, it now has one of the world's lowest rates of telephone penetration -- only 1 line per hundred inhabitants (vs. 11 lines per 100, which is the world's average). India expects to have 24 million lines in service by the Year 2000.

    More information about trends in India.

    JAKARTA, Indonesia -- In an effort to promote foreign trade, Indonesia announced its latest economic deregulation policies which cut tariffs on 1,600 items early this month. These measures are intended to reduce barriers, simplify trade procedures and provide incentives for export-oriented companies. Last year, Indonesia cut import tariffs on 1,497 items. These reforms make Indonesia one of the most liberal trade regimes in the region; but Indonesia has a long road ahead of them and much of the changes needed are structural -- changes that will increase productivity and make Indonesian products competitive. Indonesia's year-on-year export growth slowed to 3.1% in April, compared with 18% in the 1996 period.

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    TURKEY -- Demand for electricity in Turkey continues to increase, with forecasted growth of 20% annually until the year 2010. Domestic use has increased by 67% since 1990, but new facilities/supplies lag behind demand and the government cannot afford to invest in building needed new power stations. In response to the country's growing requirements, the cabinet ordered that three thermal power stations be re-opened. Moreover, foreign companies are also investing in Turkey's energy industry. In fact, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. bid for Turkey's 1,400 MegaWatt coal-fired power plant, with a US$1.5 billion offer. And Turkey and Ukraine signed an agreement to transport oil between their two countries in the Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipeline agreement.
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    BRAZIL -- Glaxo Wellcome continues its plans for success in the Brazilian market, with plans to make investments of US$405mil to further develop its business there during the next four years. Glaxo Wellcome sales in Brazil were US$125 mil in 1995 and $196 mil in 1996. Latin American sales, overall, are expected to reach $600 mil this year, reflecting 20% growth over sales in 1996. The four-year investment in Brazil will include building a new plant in Rio de Janeiro (about $150 mil) with advertising and promotion expenditures around $60 mil this year alone. Production capacity of the new plant will be approximately 100 mil unit of pharmaceuticals/drugs per year.
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    ARGENTINA -- One of America's most popular Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs), Chrysler's Grand Cherokee, will soon be seen on the streets of Mercosur countries in the coming months, as a product of Argentina. This month, Chrysler Argentina will begin exporting 1,900 of its Grand Cherokee vehicles throughout the region -- to other Mercosur countries. It plans to export nearly three-quarters of all vehicles to the region. This plant in Ferreyra, Cordoba will begin assembling Cherokee Jeeps next year. Chrysler continues global expansion of this popular SUV by strengthening its European dealer network in hopes of doubling sales there within the next 5 - 7 years.
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    ARGENTINA -- A new company, KCK Tissue, was formed by a joint venture between Kimberly-Clark Worldwide and Celucat S.A. to manufacture and sell tissue products throughout Argentina. Celucat is a subsidiary of Latin America's largest integrated forest products manufacturer.
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    USA -- Sunbeam Corporation's strategy is to triple international sales to approx. US$600 mil by 1999. It is well on its way to accomplishing this through 21 new international agreements signed by the company since Mr. Dunlap became Chairman and CEO last July. Sunbeam is targeting three key markets: Latin/South America, Asia and Europe. New distributorships are expected to account for 45% of their growth goals.
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