OSAKA — Sharp Corp. will form a technology tieup with an Egyptian company to produce air conditioners for sale in the Middle East and Africa, Sharp officials said Wednesday.

The major Osaka-based consumer electronics maker will have El Araby manufacture the air conditioners under the Sharp brand, and aims to begin sales in January 2004, they said.

Sharp will set up a factory outside Cairo and send engineers to Egypt to provide its Egyptian partner with development plans and maintenance technologies.

It will provide El Araby with core parts through Japanese trading house Nissho Iwai Corp.

Sharp said it plans to produce about 50,000 air conditioners in the first year. It hopes to increase the target to 200,000 units five years after the start of operations.

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