The size of the exhibition, with 60% foreign and Arab participation, increased this year to reach 19,000 square meters, thus further proving the importance of Cairo ICT as the field's most prominent event in North Africa and the Arab world.
Cairo ICT is held under the auspices of Dr. Tarek Kamel, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, support from the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), and the sponsorship of a large number of local and international companies led by Telecom Egypt, the official sponsor.
Moreover, the strong international presence continues to prove the world's trust in the future of the ICT industry in Egypt, being one of the most active sectors of the country backed by direct support from H.E. President Hosni Mubarak and Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Nazif.
'The great development our ICT industry experiences year after year makes us more determined to continue being the official gateway for the world to witness the rightful position of Egypt as the region's leader,' said Ossama Kamal, Managing Director of TradeFairs International, organizer of Cairo ICT.
'Different business sectors find Cairo ICT the perfect opportunity to experience the world's most recent technologies related to their fields, which is what we have been determined to doing over the past 11 rounds, and continue to do with world class standards this year,' Kamal added.
With the size of Cairo ICT growing bigger every year, the importance of having such a large event in order to position the Egyptian ICT industry on the international level has become even more pressing. 'More than 1000 foreign ministers, officials, and businessmen registered for Cairo ICT this year,' said Kamal. On top of which comes Finland, this year's guest of honor, participating with an official delegation led by H.E. Minister of Foreign Trade. In addition, official delegations from EUROMED and the International Federation of Stock Exchanges will be attending Cairo ICT 08. Commercial delegations from France, Turkey, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Government of Dubai, Jordan, Lebanon, Sudan, Libya, Tunisia and Algeria will also be present in the exhibition and forum.
The Cairo ICT 08 Forum will be addressing the subject of Egypt's second fixed operator in the opening session. The topic was approved by Dr. Tarek Kamel to kick off the forum due to the value expected from having a second fixed operator in Egypt for increasing the competitiveness of the local market. 'Customers should expect a lot of benefits and services as a result of the second license, however, this does not in any way threaten the leadership of Telecom Egypt being the largest telecom company in Egypt and Africa,' said Kamal.
Amany Ghanem, TradeFairs International Board Member, spoke of the growth of Cairo ICT this year despite several challenges, saying 'Cairo ICT is the only Egyptian exhibition to use the entire facility of the Cairo International Conference Center, including even the passages leading to the main forum halls, which made us forced to set up the shoppers' area in the car park again this year.' Exhibitors of the shoppers' area, 'The Mall', were very welcoming of this decision, so as to have a separate entrance for the huge number of visitors who shop at The Mall every year.
'The support we received from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, ITIDA, Telecom Egypt, Egypt Post, and the Smart Villages Company helped us very much in overcoming the challenges we faced this year, and coming out this strong, especially with the great efforts of Dr. Tarek Kamel,' Ghanem added.
This year's slogan, 'The world as we know it is now changing', will be dealt with in different ways throughout the main forum sessions. 'During the sessions we will try to see whether we are ready for the very fast changes the world faces today due to advancement of technology,' said Mona Mahmoud, Cairo ICT Event Director.
The sessions will be tackling many hot topics including banking technologies, electronic stock trading, financial and banking solutions. This is backed by a very strong presence of banks, Egypt Stock Exchange, and a large number of brokerage companies that will be present at the Financial District stand sponsored by the Smart Villages Company.