Improved Indian presence expected at this year's CommunicAsia2001

A preview of what to look ahead to this year at Asia's largest telecommunications and broadcasting event, held annually in Singapore, was provided today by Josephine Schlittler-Chong, project consultant for the event, at a media briefing in Mumbai. Schlittler-Chong said an increased Indian presence was expected at this year' event while pointing out that there be a separate Indian pavilion.

CommunicAsia2001 in conjunction with BroadcastAsia2001, the "definitive trade event in Asia" for the broadcasting profession, kicks off on 19 June and is expected to have 2,800 companies from across the globe congregating for the four days through to 22 June in Singapore, Schlittler-Chong said.

CommunicAsia2001 will be showcasing four specialist conferences: MobileCommAsia2001, eBiz 2001, Network Asia 2001 and Asia pacific Satellite Communications while BroadcastAsia2001 will have an international conference and Comgraphics & Animation 2001 Workshops.

Schlittler-Chong, who landed in Mumbai after pitching for the need to have greater Indian participation at this year's event at a similar briefing in New Delhi, said BroadcastAsia2001 would have 800 companies from 40 countries attending while CommunicAsia2001 would have 2,000 companies from 50 countries present.

The number of visitors expected was 48,000 Schlittler-Chong said. This was a huge number considering the fact that the conference was not open to the general public, she pointed out.

To accommodate all the exhibitors, the organisers, Singapore Exhibition Services, have had to erect additional space to supplement the Singapore Expo's six halls and its entire facility of 68,000 square metres with an additional 11,000 square metres adding to a total of 79,000 square metres.

The Indian presence at the event, which has been largely marginal at this event, will have a higher profile this year, Schlittler-Chong said. There would be a separate Indian pavilion and the Conference of Indian Industries (CII) is co-ordinating activities around the Indian pavilion, Schlittler-Chong said, adding the Department of Technology (DoT) was seriously considering lending support by subsidising Indian participants to some extent.

Queried on the actual level of Indian participation expected, Schlittler-Chong said at the 2000 exhibition there were 1,191 Indians present and more were expected this year.

Prominent among the Indian companies who will be present at CommunicAsia 2001 are:

VSNL (Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd), MTNL (Mahanagar Telephone Nigam LTD) BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam LTD), Confederation of Indian Industry, Gemini Communications LTD, Bharati Telecommunication, HFCL (Himachal Futuristic Communications LTD), National Panasonic India LTD, Ramco Systems, Rohde & Schwarz India Pvt LTD, and Sun Media Ventures Pvt Ltd.

Om Khushu, director, technical department, Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, has been appointed as conference chairman on the BroadcastAsia2001 International Conference's Panel of Conference advisers.

The session on "Satellite Regulation: National Reforms in the Regional Context" promises to be a one of the more interesting ones at the convention. G Jethwani, director satellite, department of technology (DOT), will be speaking on the Indian experience in regulation. And with China's deputy director general, ministry of information industry, Chen Ruming, also scheduled to speak on the Chinese perspective on the subject, it should provide for an interesting comparative study.

And for those who want to chill out after all the business talk, June is a great time of year to be in Singapore because of the wonderful shopping opportunities as well as other activities of tourist interest.

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