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COMPUTEX: Asia's largest IT fair ends on high note

2012/06/09 17:35:50

Taipei, June 9 (CNA) Computex Taipei 2012, Asia's largest information technology fair, closed Saturday after attracting a record number of international buyers and visitors, organizers said Saturday.

Held between June 5-9, the event drew the participation of 1,800 exhibitors and over 130,000 visitors, according to the Taiwan External Trade Development Council, one of the organizers.

The five-day show, the second biggest of its kind in the world, was attended by 36,500 international buyers, a slight increase from 2011, added Walter Yeh, the council's executive vice president, at a press conference on the expo's final day.

Of the 169 countries and regions that had buyers at the show, Japan, the United States, China and Hong Kong had the strongest representation.

Although the number of visitors from the U.S. declined slightly, Japanese visitors increased 11.5 percent from last year, while those from China also rose 7.1 percent, he noted.

Despite the gloomy global economy, Yeh said he is confident that the event can generate more than US$28 billion in business in total, accounting for 25 percent of Taiwan's information and communication technology product export output.

In addition to Turkish Koc Holding's government procurement project which generated US$200 million, some 1,000 one-on-one procurement meetings also generated orders worth US$13.3 billion, said Yeh.

Key buyers included Best Buy Co. of Canada, AT Computers Holding of Czech, Pixmania of France and Toshiba of Japan, he added.

However, Chang Li, deputy secretary general of the Taipei Computer Association who also attended the conference, added that Yeh's estimated figure of US$28 billion was "rather conservative."

This year, the 32nd Computex featured Ultrabooks, smart handheld devices, e-books and cloud technology services. In addition, 144 forums and speeches were held during the show, a 26 percent increase from a year earlier.

The limited space at the venue remains a challenge, however, and the situation may be even worse in the next two or three years, as one of the five halls will not be in use starting from 2013.

A new exhibition hall is in process of being built, but will not be in use until 2015, the organizers said, adding that before the completion of the new hall, they will work hard to look for more possible venues.

(By James Lee)