There's a possibility that LG Electronics could be considering a manufacturing facility in South Africa.
This was one of the tantalising hints dropped by chairman and CEO Yong Nam at a media briefing yesterday evening, during a whirlwind two-day trip to the region with a high-level delegation of senior LG executives.
Nam says the group has already had a tour of the Middle East, dropped in to Nigeria and is visiting South Africa to decide on future directions of the company in this region.
"We see a large potential in this part of the world," he responded to an IT-Online query. "We would like to see the market and gain local insight, from the local management team, to understand the specific opportunities.
"This will let us be specific in our investment, brand, channel and infrastructure – there is even the possibility of manufacturing some of the products."
The South African operation is one of the stars within the organisation, with increased revenue through 2008 – and a 30% increase in January 2009.
LG has decided to invest in R&D and brand-building during the recession, hoping to emerge from the global economic slowdown in a much stronger position.
Nam adds that the products driving growth in the current market include flat-screen televisions and mobile phones.
"People buy flat-screen televisions even in a recession. And they buy a lot of mobile phones."