Austrade urges Aussie ICT companies to explore Asia

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Austrade urges Aussie ICT companies to explore Asia

The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) is urging Australian ICT companies to look beyond the UK and US when forging new overseas business strategies.

With ICT spending in the Asia-Pacific expected to grow annually at 10.5 percent until 2011 to over US$1.3 trillion, it’s imperative that Australian ICT firms take advantage of the booming opportunities close to home, said Austrade’s National Industry manager for ICT, Peter Harrison.

Harrison said recent trends in global ICT spending indicate that the emerging economies in the Asia-Pacific were investing in technology to prepare for long-term growth.

“According to the recent study by the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA), in 2007 countries in the Asia-Pacific spent over US$877 billion on ICT. This year, China surpassed Germany and the UK to become the third biggest spending country at US$327 billion. This has created a huge demand for Australian innovation,” he said.

To help Australian companies take advantage of opportunities in the Asian market, Austrade plans to represent companies at industry events in China and Singapore.

This week, Austrade will assist over 60 Australian exhibitors showcasing their innovationat Asia Pacific’s largest ICT industry trade event, CommunicAsia 2008, in Singapore.

“CommunicAsia showcases the latest trends in the ICT industry to key decision makers from the Asia Pacific,” said Austrade’s Singapore-based Trade Commissioner, Cheryl Stanilewicz.

“It is an opportunity for Australian exhibitors to meet and network directly with top buyers and systems integrators in the region. This year, Austrade will also bring international buyers from across South East Asia, India, China and Hong Kong to maximise prospects for Australian firms,” she said.

Last year, CommunicAsia attracted 50,000 international trade visitors from 107 countries.

But even though Austrade is encouraging companies to explore Asian markets, the commission also warned globetrotting ICT firms to be wary of intellectual property (IP) protection.

“Austrade strongly recommends that Australian companies undertake due diligence and pay particular attention to IP protection when exporting to China. It pays to be cautious, but concerns around IP protection need not be a deal breaker,” said Austrade’s Beijing-based Senior Trade Commissioner, Phil Ingram.

“As a global exporter, China has a vested interest in IP protection. Chinese R&D businesses, across all sectors, are becoming increasingly proactive when it comes to intellectual property rights,” he said.
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