By Mohammed Affan
British IT companies are coming out in force at this year’s Gitex as they aim to capitalise on strong growth in the local market over the last five years.
British IT companies are coming out in force at this year’s Gitex as they aim to capitalise on strong growth in the local market over the last five years. IT exports from the UK to the region increased by 12% in 1999, 53% in 2000 and by a further 15% in 2001. Early statistics available for 2002 also indicate another increase in the level of IT imports.Austin Taylor Communications, Epson, UK Association for Software & IT services, Network Associates, Redwood Technologies, Promethean Limited and a host of companies related to IT education, publishing, networking and telecommunications will be present among the various vendors which have confirmed their space.“This growing presence and strength at the show reflects on the fact that the Gitex is internationally recognised as one of the prime IT events in the world,” says Jillian Shaw, international project manager for Gitex, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).The large participation also demonstrates the UK’s realisation that the UAE is a major export market for IT products, she adds.UK exports of information technology products to the Gulf region have more than doubled in the last five years and are now at record levels. According to Joe Burger, the UK-based representative of the DWTC, “the UAE is now well ahead of Saudi Arabia in importing UK IT products and Dubai is recognised as a trading point in the region.”The UK’s major export markets are 57% to the EU and 18% to the US. Approximately 4% of trade is exported to the Middle East and North Africa, a region where the UK balance of trade remains significantly positive.