The number of international visitors from emerging markets to the annual Computex tech fair this year grew more than 25 percent as governments in countries such as Indonesia and Thailand aim to upgrade their economies and industries, one of the show’s organizers, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA, 外貿協會), said on Saturday.
The number of international visitors to Computex this year grew 6 percent to 38,300 from 36,000 last year, TAITRA said.
About 60 percent came from Asia, while about 25 percent came from Europe and North America, it said.
By country, visitors from Indonesia increased the most, at 46.4 percent, followed by United Arab Emirates’ 36.5 percent and Thailand’s 25.3 percent, according to TAITRA’s report.
Including 92,000 local visitors, the five-day business-to-business trade show attracted about 130,000 visitors this year, which reflects a 7.14 percent drop from 140,000 visitors last year, TAITRA said.
“Emerging markets, particularly those in Southeast Asia, sent a lot more buyers to the Computex this year because their governments seek to boost international trade while upgrading local information and communication technology [ICT] industries at the same time,” TAITRA exhibition department manager Thomas Huang (黃漢唐) told reporters on the sidelines of a press conference.
Huang said Indonesia’s and Thailand’s governments invited many Taiwanese tech firms to demonstrate new products at their countries in recent years because electronics manufacturing industries account for a major proportion of their economies and therefore they realize the need to learn and upgrade their industries through procurements.
The United Arab Emirates government is also aggressively sending representatives to Taiwan to ask for ways to develop ICT industries as large-scale as that in Taiwan, Huang said.
Every year, Taiwan’s ICT industries received up to US$100 billion in orders from clients in other foreign countries, and a quarter of the amount comes from the Computex alone.
“The Computex plays an important role to tech firms in Asia,” Huang said.
“As PC industries are transforming from being the traditional desktops and laptops-centered to mobile devices-led, there is a need for all tech firms to join the show to see the changes in their industries and adopt new strategies in response to these changes,” he added.
Next year’s Computex will take place from June 3 to June 7, TAITRA said.
TAITRA and the Taipei Computer Association (台北市電腦公會), another organizer of the fair, have gradually changed the Computex’s theme to “mobile” and may follow the Europe-based GSM Association’s model in running the annual Mobile World Congress, where new smartphones and tablets are launched every year, Huang said.
“Computex should talk more about ‘computing’ in the future in response to rise of smartphones and tablets,” Huang said.
“It’s not easy to have all smartphone vendors and telecoms carriers come join the Computex at the same time at early stage, but we will move in this direction,” he added.