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Cloud computing forum places focus on trends & applications

TAIPEI -- A forum on the cloud computing industry opened in Taipei yesterday, attracting local experts, industry representatives and government officials, as well as many from elsewhere in Asia and the Middle East.

Hosted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the annual Taipei Summit, now in its eighth year, is focusing this year on future trends and applications in cloud computing technology, which is seen as a paradigm shift in the information technology industry, the organizers said.

The two-day event features speeches by experts and scholars from Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand and Taiwan, according to the Taiwan External Trade Development Council, one of the organizers.

“Through this event, we hope to bring together industry leaders from home and abroad to promote a common consensus on cloud applications that will help accelerate the development of the global computing industry,” Vice Economic Minister Cho Shih-chao said during his opening remarks.

Cloud computing is one of the key areas of a government industrial restructuring plan that is aimed at maintaining Taiwan's global competitiveness, Cho added.

The government announced in 2010 that it would invest NT$24 billion over five years in the cloud computing sector with the aim of creating a trillion-Taiwan dollar industry.

The output of global cloud services is expected to grow from US$27.95 billion last year to US$63.84 billion by 2015, according to Taiwan's Industrial Economics and Knowledge Research Center.

Meanwhile, Taiwan's cloud service market is projected to double from the current NT$7.5 billion by 2015, the government-funded institute said.

Kwang Ming Ng, director of MIMOS Berhad, Malaysia's national information and communications technology research and development center, said during a forum panel discussion that software might be a fast driver for the development of the industry.

“I always believe that everything and anything is possible through software,” he said, describing it as the first step to propel the industry.

Michi Sugawara, head of Japanese Fujitsu's Global Portfolio Management Unit, supported the view, saying that he also sees great potential in information technology services.

Businesses should first find opportunities and then cooperate, as the cloud is so big that it needs huge investment, Sugawara said. One vendor cannot do everything and collaboration is a must, he added.

The forum is taking place at the Taipei World Trade Center Nangang Exhibition Hall in tandem with the first ever Taiwan International Cloud Technology and Internet of Things Show from Oct. 9-12, the organizers said.

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