Sat, Nov 24, 2001 - Page 17 News List

IT firms are banking on CeBIT 2002

LOOKING AHEAD Despite the economic downturn, local IT firms are making big plans for the world's largest technology exhibition by sending more companies than any other country

By Dan Nystedt  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwanese companies will dominate this March's CeBIT 2002, the world's largest information technology exhibition, a CeBIT official said yesterday.

"Taiwan is number one of all the foreign exhibitors, followed by the United States ... then Great Britain, then Sweden in fourth place and France, Switzerland and then China," said Hubert Lange, a member of the board of directors at Deutsche Messe AG, which runs the CeBIT trade fairs.

That big showing demonstrates how far the nation has come over the last two decades.

In 1982, only one Taiwanese firm, Acer Inc (宏電), ventured to CeBIT and in 1985 the number of firms was still in the single digits.

As Taiwan's IT industry grew, its participation at CeBIT climbed with 210 firms attending the show in 1990.

Last year that number more than doubled to 507. For CeBIT 2002, which will run from March 13 to March 20, 564 Taiwanese firms have already signed up to show their wares.

By contrast, 104 companies from China will attend the March fair, up from 25 last year. Another 87 firms will go to the show from Hong Kong.

CeBIT, held annually in Hannover, Germany, is the world's largest IT show. Last year the show attracted over 849,300 visitors, nearly a quarter of them from outside Germany.

Lange said that with the exception of Germany, Taiwan will have the most firms represented at the fair, and that they will take up 13,000m2 of exhibition space.

Though they are sending fewer companies than Taiwan, the US and Japan will command the most floor space at the fair.

Despite ranking below Taiwan in terms of the number of companies attending the show, they will consume a much larger piece of the pie.

Companies from the US will rent nearly 80,000m2 of floor space, with IBM commanding a whopping 10,000m2, Lange said -- nearly the same amount as all of the Taiwanese firms combined. Japan ranks second in terms of rented exhibition area, with 40,000m2.

Lange said that since subsidiaries of foreign firms are considered to be local, the US and Japan are at a disadvantage when it comes to being ranked on the CeBIT show tally.

US and Japanese firms depend on their subsidiaries to make arrangements at CeBIT and subsidiaries are counted as German firms, not foreign. Therefore, they miss the opportunity to win the top billing as the foreign nation with the most companies going to the fair.

Some of the local firms already signed up for CeBIT include Acer, VIA Technologies Inc (威盛電子), Delta Electronic Inc (台達電子) and the MiTAC-Synnex Group (神通聯強集團).

Of the firms that have registered, 311 are manufacturers of IT products, 200 are telecom and networking firms, 36 are firms working in automation data capture, voice processing and vision systems.

Only one firm from Taiwan's software sector will attend, according to CeBIT.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top