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Samsung to Make Ivory Coast Its Commercial Hub in West Africa

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Nov. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Samsung Electronics Co. wants to make Ivory Coast its commercial hub in West Africa and plans to open 14 stores in the country next year, said Kyung Heon Kim, vice president of the Seoul-based company.

Samsung is planning to build its biggest store in Africa in Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s commercial capital, Kim told Bloomberg in a Nov. 17 interview in the city. “The store will be as big as the ones we have in Seoul, Paris or Dubai,” Kim said.

The 540 square-meter (5,800 square-foot) showroom will cost 850 million CFA francs ($1.7 million) and will open in March 2012, Nasser Seklaoui, a representative of Samsung in Ivory Coast, said by phone on Nov. 18.

The other 13 stores, including ones in the port of San Pedro and the capital, Yamoussoukro, will cost 1.3 billion CFA francs and will open next January, Kim said.

Samsung is in talks with the Ivory Coast government to build a television and air-conditioner factory in Abidjan next year to supply Ivory Coast and the region, Kim said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Baudelaire Mieu in Abidjan via Accra at ebowers1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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