Thu, Jun 19, 2003 - Page 10 News List

Computex could be largest ever

By Jessie Ho  /  STAFF REPORTER

The delayed "Computex Taipei 2003" in late September will be the largest ever compared with previous events, as bookings for booths in the new exhibition hall as well as existing venues are already full, an official said yesterday.

"The new exhibition ground opposite the yet-to-be-completed Taipei 101 office tower will be finished by September, which allows us to increase exhibition space by 300 booths and expand the show to an unprecedented scale," Nick Chang (張世昌), sector chief of China External Trade Development Council (CETRA) said yesterday.

The comments are a reversal of previous predictions that the rescheduling of Asia's largest computer trade show will halve the number of overseas visitors. Some 2,500 booths in four exhibition halls of the Taipei World Trade Center have sold out, Chang said.

While some companies that registered for the canceled June show cannot attend the September 22 to 26 show due to tight scheduling, companies on the waiting list have filled the space, swelling the number of exhibitors to 1,100.

Many foreign buyers have showed renewed interest in attending the show after Taiwan was excluded from WHO's travel advisory list on Tuesday, Chang said.

As for the 10-day quarantine for visitors from China and Hong Kong that may reduce attendance by Hong Kong and Chinese companies and visitors, Chang said the show's organizer is not worried as quarantine measures should be removed by then.

In addition to high expectations for the computer trade show, the council is also confident that the nation's commercial activities will be revived soon.

"We're delighted to see the travel warning against Taiwan removed," said Shea Jia-dong (許嘉棟), chairman of CETRA, at a ceremony celebrating the lifting of the travel warning yesterday.

"I've received messages from many foreign companies saying that they will continue to be Taiwan's trade partners," Shea said.

Economics Minister Lin Yi-fu (林義夫) sent messages to Taiwan's major business partners on Tuesday night, including trade ministers of the 19 member nations of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, 61 foreign trade delegations, local business groups and Taiwan's representative offices in various nations, notifying them tthat he ban has been lifted.

Meanwhile, CETRA also e-mailed 300 world trade centers in various nations and over 230,000 potential foreign buyers of Taiwan's products to assure them that visiting Taiwan is safe.

Besides Computex, CETRA and the Bureau of Foreign Trade will launch another eight international trade shows, five visits to various countries and 35 catalog exhibitions, starting next month through the end of the year, to boost the economy.

Losses from SARS in export industries are expected to amount to US$1.34 billion in the second quarter of the year compared with the previous quarter, according to a survey previously conducted by Ministry of Economic Affairs. Orders from China and Hong Kong fell 49 percent, or US$658 million, and orders from the US also saw a 20.1 percent drop, or a US$270 million decrease from the first quarter, the report said.

In addition to large-scale reductions in foreign trade, a drop in domestic commercial activities and consumption forced the nation's Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics to cut its GDP prediction for the year from 3.68 percent to 2.89 percent.

This story has been viewed 6243 times.

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