Spain named "Partner Country 2010" for BITKOM and CeBIT
Date: Wed, 07/01/2009 - 13:33
CeBIT 2010, 2 to 6 March
Spain is not simply one of Europe's most popular holiday destinations. It is also an attractive place for high-tech industrial companies. This is clearly confirmed by the decision of the German IT and telecommunications sector and CeBIT in favour of Spain as the official Partner Country in 2010.
'Spain is one of Germany's most important trading partners and ranks among Europe's top 5 high-tech markets', explains BITKOM President Prof. Dr. August-Wilhelm Scheer. 'Due to their experience on South American markets, Spanish companies are highly interesting partners for joint ventures and cooperation. German companies operating on the global market can only gain from closer dialogue and collaboration.'
Next year, exhibitors from Spain will benefit from their special status at CeBIT: 'As the Partner Country, Spain will also make an important contribution to boosting business at CeBIT 2010. High-tech industries in Spain have enjoyed dramatic growth in recent years', says Deutsche Messe Board member Ernst Raue. 'ICT technology is integral to a diverse range of sectors within the Spanish economy, and there is interesting growth potential.' Raue adds: 'The Spanish government has announced that its strategy to deal with the current economic crisis will involve stepping up investment in leading-edge technologies and innovation.' CeBIT 2010 therefore represents an ideal opportunity for exhibitors and visitors from across the globe to capitalize on the potential of the Spanish ICT market, including new ventures, co-operation and business leads. 'The special presentation that Spanish companies will stage in Hannover from 2-6 March 2010 gives them an excellent opportunity to showcase their expertise', concludes Raue.
Around the same time as Spain assumes its role as partner to the ICT sector, it will also be taking on the EU Presidency in the first half year of 2010. BITKOM President Scheer believes: 'This is an outstanding opportunity to talk with politicians from both countries about the possibility of a European high-tech strategy.' The German-Spanish ICT summit on the opening day of CeBIT 2010 will be honoured by the presence of several key government members from both countries. Scheer added: 'In difficult times like these it is especially important that the right policies are in place to encourage business, improve competitiveness and promote innovation.'
At present the Spanish market for IT, telecommunications and digital consumer electronics is relatively stable. The international market research institute EITO predicts a slight decline of 1.7 percent to 57.2 billion euros for 2009. This puts Spain in a better position that many other EU member countries. Last year, despite the recession, the volume of sales grew by 1.1 percent to 58.2 billion euros. IT and telecommunication services are the major force behind growth. According to EITO the Spanish high-tech market will grow again in 2010.
Last year German companies exported ICT hardware worth approx. 1.8 billion euros to Spain, while Spanish suppliers exported hardware valued at 217 million euros to Germany. At the same time exports of Spanish ICT services considerably outstripped hardware exports: in 2008 the Partner Country sold services valued at 317 million euros to the host nation, Germany, while German suppliers exported ICT services worth 782 million euros. 'There is still a lot of scope for developing bilateral trade in services and software, and we are hopeful that our partnership will help to realize this potential', said Scheer, who mentioned that the initiative should also help SME's on the international marketplace.
BITKOM President Scheer added: 'Next year, Spanish and German companies will find that CeBIT assumes particular importance.' He explained: 'Companies will need to ensure they are ready for the period after the crisis. CeBIT is the ideal place for meeting clients and initiating business cooperation.' Significantly, the German-Spanish talks will continue after the ICT summit in the form of expert forums. 'The event offers optimum conditions for facilitating new business leads and exchanging knowledge and experience', argues Raue on behalf of Deutsche Messe. 'Over the years we have found that the Partner Country concept has been very effective - as illustrated by the huge success we experienced with California, the CeBIT Partner in 2009. For the Partner Country CeBIT has always proven an outstanding platform that encourages international cooperation in the high-tech sector.'