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ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 closes with bullish outlook for ICT industry

Baton passes from Bangkok to Geneva for ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009

Bangkok, 5 September 2008 — ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 brought the shutters down in Bangkok with a focus on new business opportunities to sustain growth in the dynamic ICT industry in the Asia-Pacific region as well as on the younger generation of users and innovators.

With over two billion telephones, including 1.4 billion mobile subscribers, and 42 per cent of the world’s Internet users, Asia is a region of superlatives in the ICT arena. It is also the world’s largest broadband market with a 39 per cent share of the world’s total at the end of 2007, as noted in ITU’s 2008 Asia Pacific Telecommunications and ICT Indicators Report that was launched at the event. ‘New Generation, New Values’, the theme of ITU TELECOM ASIAa 2008 addressed the demands of a young population that is clearly setting the tone for a new generation of ICT developers and development.

Over 170 exhibitors from around the world occupied some 15 000 square meters of covered space at the IMPACT Centre, a modern convention and exhibition complex on the outskirts of Bangkok. Business was brisk with trade visitors and exhibitors meeting on the show floor as well as in the national pavilions of China, France, Korea (Republic of), Japan, Russia, Thailand and the United States.

"Business as usual" was the common refrain among all participants at ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008, despite the developing political situation in Thailand. While news reports of the unfolding scenario kept some foreign participants from attending, which resulted in lower numbers of visitors than expected, the IMPACT Centre as well as most of Bangkok city appeared unaffected. The Forum Halls were full to overflowing and the trade show bustled with activity.

Win-win partnerships

The future development of the telecommunications and the ICT sector was addressed by Ministers from the region and beyond at a round table discussion. A high-level dialogue followed with industry and business leaders focusing on investment and the market environment, government and industry interests, as well as public/private partnerships and future cooperation.

"This week has seen enormous energy focused on ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008, shedding light on the issues which confront the telecommunications and ICT sector — issues which we sought to explore through the notion of new generation, new values," ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré said. "Business opportunities flourished within the exhibition and at high-level exchanges with ministers. It is evident that win-win public/private partnerships are a reality."

Minister for Information and Communication Technology of Thailand Mun Patanotai said he was delighted that ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 was held in Bangkok. "ICTs may be seen as the central nervous system of the new world body economy," the Minister stated. "Over the last decade ICTs have been expanding at a great speed, fostering economic growth and changing the way people work, communicate, entertain, do business and organize their lives. The Asia-Pacific region is without any doubt moving fast in telecommunication services and infrastructures."

Constructive debate

The Forum, the Telecommunication Development Symposium and the Youth Forum have created a platform for debate, the exchange of ideas and a showcase for new technologies, business models and policy. Global challenges such as climate change, cybersecurity and emergency communications were addressed, bringing new components to the table as well as new business opportunities.

Addressing the needs of society and particularly the new "connected" generation, The ITU TELECOM ASIA Forum addressed a range of issues such as the Regulatory environment for next-generation networks (NGN); security, privacy and trust in cyberspace; greening ICTs; emergency telecommunications to save lives; and new business models for the sustainable growth of ICTs.

The Telecommunication Development Symposium (TDS) is specifically tailored to the needs and realities of the least developed and developing countries of the Region. Discussions centred on "Innovative Asia": a look at modern developments, such as the open online market place pushing towards positive approaches to challenges being faced in less developed economies. "Developing countries in the Asia-Pacific Region are deeply engaged in the issues highlighted at ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008," Dr Touré said. "And they have expressed their commitment to supporting the contribution of the ICT industry towards a greener environment, strengthening emergency communications in an effort to save lives in the event of natural disasters, and building the synergies to operationalize cybersecurity."

"Say yes to ICT" asserted the many young people who came from across the Asia-Pacific region to attend the ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 Youth Forum in Bangkok. Outlining a vision for a world that endorses freedom of expression and connectivity for all, the Youth Forum participants declared: "We believe in the development and expansion of ICTs, in keeping all doors to innovation open, and building upon positive human values. We have identified a two dimensional approach for achieving our vision — to bridge the digital divide and use ICT in bridging coexisting divides concerning financial, educational, social, environmental, health and other issues." The Action Plan listed a number of key priority areas: The promotion and enhancement of ICTs through the rapid expansion of infrastructure and services, opening telecom markets to competition, capacity building, and transparency. The Youth called for utilizing ICT for financial empowerment, education, social services, conflict resolution, and disaster management.

Bangkok passes the baton to Geneva for ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009

As the doors closed on ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008 in Bangkok, the baton passed to Geneva: host city for ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009. The global ICT showcase event will be held at the Geneva Palexpo exhibition centre from 5 to 9 October 2009. Booth sales for ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009 received a big boost at ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008, and close to a thousand exhibitors from around the world are expected at World 09. Geneva offers all the facilities of a large city, but without the drawbacks of distance and commuting time. For ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009, Geneva offers exhibitors, participants and trade visitors special facilities, some of which are new:

  • Accommodation
    • exclusive availability for Telecom guests of 9000 hotel rooms at set prices
    • removal of minimum-stay requirements on these rooms
    • implementation of a control mechanism on hotel rooms
  • Local Transport
    • Free transport for TELECOM WORLD badge holders in Geneva
  • Facilitation
    • Welcome desks at Geneva airport and at Geneva’s two railway stations
    • A dedicated website to facilitate visitors:
  • Public relations
    • Several historical buildings in Geneva will be made available to provide an opportunity for exhibiting companies to organize events in prestigious settings

Houlin Zhao, Executive Manager of ITU TELECOM and Deputy Secretary-General of ITU expressed his satisfaction that arrangements for ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009 were in full swing. "Important sections of the show floor have already been reserved, and we expect exhibitor bookings to pick up in the next few weeks," Mr Zhao said. "The new look ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009 will offer exhibitors and participants a host of facilities. High-level interaction between business and government will be stepped up with Ministerial and CEO round table discussions and the attendance of Heads of State and Government."

Robert Hensler, Chancellor of State for Geneva, was in Bangkok to promote ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009. "The success of ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009 will be the best proof that our new business model for world class events meets the needs of industry," He said. "This is our real aspiration as we welcome ITU Telecom back to the home of ITU."

Participants at ITU TELECOM ASIA 2008
  Registered Arrived
Trade Visitors 11 860 5378
Stand Personnel 3581 3462
VIPs 179 147
Forum 464 413
Media liaison and technical personnel 109 78
Accredited Media 232 192
Host Country 1975 1915
Total Participants 18 400 11 585


For more information, please visit or contact:

Sanjay Acharya
Chief, Media Relations and Public Information

Tel: +41 22 730 5046
Mobile: +41 79 249 4861

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Updated : 2008-09-05