Computex 2012 shows clear signs of worldwide econonomic storms

The sponsors of important trade show Computex said on the day before it started that exports from Taiwan had shown something of a decline and that’s been confirmed by vendors at the show.

The first Computex I attended was in 1989 and although I’ve missed one or two in the intervening years, Taiwan and this show have grown exponentially.  The aim of the conference is for Taiwanese and other vendors to meet international buyers.

Although there is a fair gaggle of buyers here, there is a clear deficit in visitors from Asia and from Europe, and most people I have spoken to have put that down to the economic recession.  

We still don’t have the official figures for the show, but the first and second day are generally the most important – on the different show floors it was easy to get about and there were few queues, whether it was for food, for taxis or for the bus shuttles ferrying people between the World Trade Center and the premium show venue, 20 minutes away, at Nangang.

Nangang was quite deserted too. I spoke to several vendors who had their own observations on the event. One Taiwanese vendor said: “Generally speaking, I have noticed the absence of buyers from both India and from Europe this year. I thought it was because of the location of my booth at first, but you’re the first British editor to come and see me.”

Another major Taiwanese vendor told me that he had noticed a sharp drop in sales from practically every European country, apart from Germany.  The so-called PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain) are no longer buying kit, because of the Euro crisis.

More worryingly, he told me that there was usually a large contingent of buyers from Eastern Europe and, specifically, from Russia, but he said the footfall seemed slight this year.

A source that has Intel’s ear told me that while the chip giant right now was fine, sales projections suggested that the third quarter wouldn’t be as buoyant as it had expected.  He put that down to a general worldwide lack of confidence, exacerbated by the Eurozone crisis.