Taipei Times: How was CeBIT Shanghai this year? \nHubert Lange: We started in August this year with about 500 exhibitors, 11,000m2 and 25,000 visitors but next year, with the new grounds, we'll double those figures. \nTT: A lot of people in Taiwan are nervous about the IT development in China, did you see any reason at CeBIT Shanghai for them to be nervous? \nLange: A lot of people from Taiwan were in Shanghai and I spoke with many of them. I would say Computex is an excellent show here in Taiwan and I think it will be excellent over the next few years. But, it is our target, our goal, to be number one in Asia. \nSo we have made an arrangement with the Shanghai government that will ensure we have enough space to grow over the next few years. We can expand to more than 200,000m2, far greater than any other trade fair in Asia. We took this name, CeBIT Asia, and we must be number one in Asia. That's our goal and we will do it. \nTT: What about Shanghai itself? \nLange: I see Shanghai as a very large and growing market, not just in the IT industry but in all industries. I don't believe anyone knows the political situation, but I believe it will be stable in the next few years ... so I'm convinced there will be strong developments over the coming years. \nTT: For next year's CeBIT shows, what will do you think will be the big products, or the most popular technologies? \nLange: We will know the new products or new solutions exhibitors plan to bring in January or February. The main things will be new products for the telecommunications industries -- like applications for mobile phones, UMTS -- but we will know more in January or February. You will also be able to access this information from the Internet in January. Of course, mobile commerce, new Internet solutions and electronic commerce are the main items. \nTT: How has the IT slowdown affected CeBIT? \nLange: In the long run, the IT and telecommunications industries are going up; I'm convinced of this. At the moment, they have cut their marketing budgets. As a result, second and third [rate] trade fairs have also been cut, but not CeBIT. CeBIT is the industry's number one fair and they will spend even more promoting it. \nThis year we had 8,100 exhibitors and next year we will have 8,300. The size of the venue will go from 430,000m2 this year to more than 440,000m2 next year -- and we still have a waiting list. Comdex went down 20 to 25 percent, this year. If there is a crisis, companies target their marketing on the main events, so CeBIT is not suffering. \nTT: What other factors are causing CeBIT to grow so fast? \nLange: No show is as complete as CeBIT and no show is as international. We have a network of representatives worldwide -- 70 in all. We hold 150 press conferences and presentations worldwide every year. \nLook at the figures. We had more than 170,000 visitors in 2001; 34,000 people from East Asia visit CeBIT each year -- that's a lot of jumbo jets. We have over 13,000 journalists and 200 TV and radio stations -- that's more than the Olympic Games or the World Soccer Championships. \nThere are, as I mentioned, 8,300 exhibitors with 100,000 people manning the stands, and about 850,000 visitors will come addition to that. The big companies, like IBM and Siemens, will send 3,500 people from all over the world -- their personal staff and technicians -- not only for their exhibit but to look at what other companies are doing. \nAnd next year's keynote speakers will be Mr. Steve Balmer from Microsoft and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. Last year we had Ms. Carly Fiorina and the year before Mr. Scott McNealy and Mr. Guerstner from IBM. They all say CeBIT is number one, not Comdex. \nTT: CeBIT is one of the three top information technology trade fairs, including Comdex in Las Vegas and Computex in Taipei. Can you give our readers some background on CeBIT? \nLange: You must first understand that the trade fair industry was created in Germany. Eight-hundred years ago, the first trade fair started in Germany in Leipzig and Frankfurt. But Hannover -- where the CeBIT shows run -- has no old tradition because of the division of Germany into two parts. \nIn 1946, Leipzig started a new trade fair. The British High Commissioner at that time then suggested that the Germans hold international trade fairs which would boost their exports and help them pay their war debts. So they asked all the cities in Germany to run trade fairs and the people of Hannover agreed. The grounds where the trade fair takes place today was an old aircraft factory and, if not for the fair, the halls and machines would have been taken to England as war reparations. \nSo it started in 1947 and continued to expand until it became the biggest trade fair in the world -- the Hannover Fair. The name CeBIT was created in 1970 as part of the Hannover Fair. In 1986, we separated the CeBIT show because it grew to the point we could make it a trade fair of its own. \nCeBIT is now the biggest fair not only in information and telecommunication technology but amongst all trade fairs. If you compare it to Comdex in the United States, it is four times as large in exhibitors, visitors and space.
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Swedish Member of Parliament Hampus Hagman is pushing for changing the name of the nation’s trade office in Taipei to signal improved relations with “Asia’s perhaps foremost democracy.” Hagman on Wednesday last week proposed renaming the Swedish Trade and Invest Council to “Sweden’s Office in Taipei,” following similar changes by other nations. The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, part of Business Sweden, is owned by the Swedish government and Swedish industry. Taiwan and Sweden share important values such as respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom of speech, Hagman said in the motion, adding that the two nations