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Sat 10 Jan 2009 04:00 AM

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The future starts here

Another year, another fresh start. 2009 starts off in style for the security, fire and safety industries, with the perennially successful Intersec trade show and conference.

Another year, another fresh start. 2009 starts off in style for the security, fire and safety industries, with the perennially successful Intersec trade show and conference.

Of course, one thing is on everyone's mind at the moment, and that's the ubiquitous concern as to what the economy holds for the industry.

It's tempting to see little but doom and gloom, and initial reports haven't necessarily been promising. A recent report from consultants Frost and Sullivan suggests that security spending in North American and European banks is likely to slow down as a result of closures and consolidation.

It's worth noting a few points here. Firstly, growth is likely to return. "Once the situation will be normalised, banks are expected to increase their spending once again; by 2013 the worldwide spending for electronics physical security is expected to reach $1,463 million," said Matia Grossi, industry analyst for Frost and Sullivan.

Secondly, although the Gulf isn't entirely immune from what's happening around the world, we are in the fortunate position that we are still partially sheltered from what's going on.

The real problem is one of perception; in our profile this month, Walid Feghali of 3M points out, if the media didn't continue talking in doleful terms about what's happening in the West, people in the Middle East wouldn't necessarily be as anxious about the future.

Which brings me back to Intersec. The show has grown by a full 25% from 2008. It's that kind of confidence that's going to keep both the industry, and the people served by it, safe and secure.

I look forward to meeting many of you at the show later in this month, and hope that in February I'll be able to share some good news with everyone, proving that the future for the industry is as bright as ever.

James Boley is the deputy editor of Security Fire Safety Middle East.

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