Post-flu Asia to spend, spend, spend on IT

Market researcher predicts $100 billion spending spree due real soon now

The Asia-Pacific region will go on an IT spending spree nudging the $100 billion mark this year, according to a Gartner Group report. Today's study reveals overall expenditure will climb 21.4 per cent to $98 billion in 1999, against last year's three per cent. Service providers look set to cream off the largest section, with analysts estimating 24.3 per cent of growth going to this sector. Rolf Jester, Gartner Group's Asia-Pacifics analyst, told a news conference that the service sector would be looking at around $22.6 billion, compared to $18.2 billion in 1998. He also forecast Chinese and Korean companies would cease to be cautious about looking outside their own business for IT advice and overtake Australia as the largest user of service industries. Jester noted more changes in the region: "In some Asian countries, notably China, hardware will continue to be the largest growth sector, as the IT industry is still less sophisticated than the US and Europe." "In 1999 we are likely to see a 22 per cent growth in hardware revenues, but within four years this will have levelled out to some six per cent in compound annual growth terms. Once China catches up in hardware infrastructure terms, it will be a massive growth area," he said. ®

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