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Day 6 - IFA International

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News IFA 2013 Puts a Positive Spin on Q4 Business gfu gathers feedback and plans an even greater event in 2014 As the gates of IFA 2013 close for the last time, the first reports of business activity and show attendance are as positive as expected. According to Hans-Joachim Kamp, the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the gfu – organisers of the show – figures are up whether they be in the fields of trade visitors or international visitors, or orders signed at the show. We asked Mr Kamp for an initial report on this year’s event. The market situation has been very tough, especially in the very important field of television. There was a downturn of 20%, so there were questions of what the situation would be like after six days of IFA, but I expect a very positive trend. I am quite sure that the second half of the year will be more positive than last year. Smart TV is one of the main topics and on the other hand all dealers and all Berlin visitors were very enthusiastic to see Ultra HD. So the result this year from my point of view is a triple-A ranking. On the other hand if you look what we have done with keynotes, I have never seen such well-visited keynotes. We had more keynotes than in the past. It’s the first time the car industry has been present with a keynote. The second important thing we addressed is connectivity. The third is that in my view more new products have been shown here at the IFA than in the past. This means that for the season from October through December, which represents 35% of turnover, there are more innovations that will arrive in the stores. That is good for the trade and it is also good for the consumers. Are you very excited about the fact that the IT and the telecommunications industry are coming in to become part of this ecosystem at IFA? Yes, absolutely; because in the past, we had a separate business from IT and telecommunications. But with connectivity and with the “smart approach” these product categories are coming closer together and 90% of all these products are sold in the same outlets. If we say the VIPs for us are the trade on the one hand and the press on the other, then this fulfils our strategy to bring them all together. Two of the big trends this year were geographic, with the increased visibility of major players from Turkey and China. Are you noticing a big change in this geoeconomic situation as well? The Turkish companies were already strong in the past but they were more ‘present’ this year at IFA and it’s the first time that Vestel has made a keynote, because the production capacities were also in the last year on a very high level. And what is new is that they also started new fields such as smartphone business. I think for many they know Vestel only as a company that is in white goods and consumer electronics and now they are stepping in to the telecommunications business. And one thing is quite clear, competition in the market is always good and there is strong competition from the Chinese and Turkish “We aim to build up a congress programme, which can become the 'Davos of the Consumer Electronics industry'.” companies which is good for development and for innovation. Is this changing balance good for IFA? IFA has shown that it’s the number one place for consumer electronics in the world with all the companies that are present, with all the Hans-Joachim Kamp at the IFA opening press conference internationality, and all the companies that decided to bring their products to Berlin. And when I look to the season, 35% of the business is done in the lead up to Christmas… so it’s an “order fair” and we expect that we will have more orders in the books than in the past, which is good for the trade and is also good for dealers. It is a win-win situation. Finally, if you have a message for the press and for the trade for next year what would it be? I’m looking forward to next year, because then we are in the fantastic situation that we have the new City Cube Hans-Joachim Kamp Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the gfu and we will gather, more than ever, all the decision-makers at the IFA. Next year, we have the chance to build up here in Berlin a congress programme for the consumer electronic industry, which is what we will be working on in the next months. We need to address many themes, from WEEE, through data security, to networks, so there are a lot of themes. All the experts will be here, and we are also inviting politicians, not only from Germany, but also from around Europe. We aim to build up a congress programme which can become the 'Davos of the Consumer Electronics industry'. www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Wednesday 11 th September 2013 9

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