March 3, 2009

Schwarzenegger Opens CeBit Electronics Fair

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger addressed international visitors on Monday during the opening ceremony of the 2009 CeBit Consumer Electronics fair in Hannover Germany.

Schwarzenegger appeared as the representative of the state of California, which has partnered with CeBit this year.

"Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I would come back to Germany as governor of the great state of California," said Schwarzenegger.

"Some may say this is the wrong time for a big trade show like this but they are wrong," he said, referring to the economic recession. 

"Losers whine but winners move forward in a strong and powerful way and I know that everyone who is here at the CeBIT is a winner!"

Austrian-born Schwarzenegger appeared alongside Germany's first female chancellor, Angela Merkel.

"What an inspirational leader she is," he said.

While in Hanover, Schwarzenegger will also pick up an award from the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany Tuesday for "his exceptional commitment to the global issues of environment and energy", according to AFP.

This year the focus will be on introducing products to help business partners weather the economic recession.

About 4,300 firms from 69 countries will show off the latest products at this year's CeBit. The fair has seen a 25 percent drop in vendors, but is expecting some 495,000 visitors this week.

Since opening the gates in 1986, CeBit has been relatively overshadowed by rival electronics fairs such as IFA in Berlin and CES in the US.

"Given the depth of the world economic crisis, this number of 4,300 (exhibitors) represents a success," said Ernst Raue, managing board member of Deutsche Messe, which is responsible for organizing CeBit as well as other German trade fairs, according to Reuters.

This year's CeBit will focus on so-called "webciety", which stands for a combination of the "World Wide Web" and "society".

"This new word stands for the key technological development of our age, as the Internet - like no other medium before it - continues to permeate all areas of our lives, changing the rules of the game and shifting the balance of forces," CeBit explained.

"Almost 20 years after the first fundamental brainstorming for the World Wide Web, the networked society has become a reality - and is on the threshold of yet another new development phase."

Additionally, CeBit will focus on so-called "green IT". Companies will present their Green-IT-solutions in a designated area. Products will include "energy saving notebooks for everyone across energy efficient data centers to high-end-videoconferencing in HD-quality and sustainable visions for the future."


On the Net: