AMD plans South Africa office

Von Theo Boshoff

At a function in Johannesburg last week, international microchip maker, AMD, and Sahara Computers announced a strategic alliance.

Executive vice-president and chief sales and marketing officer at AMD, Henri Richard, was in the country to celebrate the partnership, and to strengthen ties with customers, as well as explore other growth opportunities.

Richard says: ?SA is still seen by many as a third world emerging market, but we believe it is a high growth market already, and we need to explore the opportunities this presents.? He concedes that AMD has not invested enough in SA to date, but that things are changing. ?Another reason why I am here is to evaluate what has been done here already and then improve on that,? he adds.

Whilst this partnership will increase Sahara?s international standing, put it within reach of Tier 1 status, and increase AMD?s local brand awareness, according to Richard, it also holds several other benefits for the local market.

Advantages include wider access to, and greater availability of, product, direct involvement with technology research and development initiatives, and improved pricing, all of which will influence existing ICT supply and demand positively.

On top of this AMD is also in the process of establishing a local sales office to further assist developments in SA, but also to manage its ventures into the rest of Africa. ?The establishment of the local office will not happen this year, but is included in our 2006 plans, and we aim to have it up and running before the end of next year,? Richard says.

Furthermore, AMD is setting up another fab in Germany, which, Richard says: ?will provide an ample supply of products to the high growth markets of which SA is a part.? The fab is expected to be opened next month, the company says.