CeBIT trade show to ride on IT upturn

Event organizers say next year's show will mirror growth drivers of the tech industry.

SINGAPORE--The worldwide information and communications (ICT) market is expected to post a year-on-year growth of 4.8 percent by 2006, according to latest figures from the European Information Technology Observatory (EITO).

During a briefing held here yesterday on the annual CeBIT industry trade show, Jorg Schomburg, managing director of Worldwide CeBIT Events, said next year's IT trade fair in March will underscore the upswing in technology spending.

Schomburg said the global ICT industry, which grew by 3.7 percent last year, is clearly on a rebound. The positive mood will ring in new opportunities for ICT applications that will reinforce industry growth over the next two years, he added.

Growth drivers, he said, include the global migration to 3G cellular networks, the proliferation of broadband Internet, interactive digital TV, wireless technologies such as WiMax, and radio frequency identification (RFID), as well as open-source and file-sharing technologies.

To cash in on the upturn, CeBIT 2006 in Hannover, Germany, will showcase a gamut of ICT products such as 3G cellphones, home electronics, and business software tools including ERP (enterprise resource planning), CRM (customer relationship management) and security solutions.

A new pavilion with products targeted at small and midsized businesses (SMBs) will also be on show. Last year's CeBIT attracted more than 260,000 SMBs, according to event organizers.

An estimated number of 6,300 exhibitors from 70 countries will be participating in CeBIT 2006, from which more than 1,700 exhibitors are from the Asia-Pacific region, Schomburg said. The largest contingent is from Taiwan, with 775 delegates.

The trade fair also has its own Asian run, CeBIT Asia, which is also an annual affair. Its sixth installment will be held September next year in Shanghai, China.