10 Days of Excruciating Confusion regarding VAT impact on trading in the Freezones and today it’s all clear. So no VAT in the designated Freezones in the UAE and the Traders take a sigh of relief. However, the situation in the local market is such that there is a strict implementation of 5% so the wholesale trade would simply evaporate in the very near future.

There is good news for the otherwise defunct brands and this is how it is unraveling if they play it right:

– Iraq’s airports have blocked most of the mobile imports.

– Iran has implemented IMEI block and the regulator is deactivating unregistered products.

– Saudi Market has the VAT impact.

As gray products used to flood the local wholesale channels, these used to impact the regular IR trade significantly as well. With the eradication of gray products in lieu of the VAT, this is a great chance for B brands to make an entry through:

– The Incumbents (Apple, Samsung, and Huawei) can’t simply sit on their haunches and enjoy the party – Channel Promotions

– Dealer Incentive Programs

– Aggressive ATL (Yes ATL and TTL marketing campaigns) – Joint promotions with Operators  

This is a Dawn of a New reality so boot up! kazi.najib@playtorium.com