First int?l ICT conference in Cebu set

Von Grace S.

All is set for Cebu City?s first ever international information and communication technology conference and exhibit on June 22 to 24.

The culmination of the Cebu Business Month (CBM) organized by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), the three-day event will highlight ICT as another principal economic driver -- just like resorts are -- for the southern capital.

Cebu Educational Development Foundation for Information Technology (CEDF-IT) executive director Bonifacio Belen said that weeks before the event, a number of ?developments? concerning the local and foreign delegation that would take part in the affair arose.

?One major development was the confirmation of attendance we received from NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Service Companies ) president Kiran Karnik, including a 25-man delegation from India,? Belen told Computerworld Philippines.

The movers and shakers of the local ICT industry confirmed their participation in the conference, with no less than President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo leading the delegation.

Belen said they would take advantage of this rare opportunity to begin exploratory talks between the ICT officials from India and their local counterparts in mapping out possible ?collaborations? among the ICT service providers in the two countries.

Organized in collaboration with various government agencies and ICT companies, the international ICT conference is CCCI?s biggest event that will bring together stakeholders in the global ICT sector to share the latest in the industry and establish links among players.

The CBM team seeks to corner substantial opportunities in software development. They also hope the event will bolster Cebu?s budding IT-enabled services industry. There are now around 20 IT-enabled service providers in Cebu.

Belen said the Cebu local government and private sector groups have been working hard to gradually transform the city into a premier ICT investment, software and e-services hub.

Cebu, the second largest city in the Philippines with a population of 3.5 million, is currently being positioned to become the country?s ICT center outside Metro Manila. The city?s Asia Town IT Park, the only IT park outside Luzon, is a favorite location of call centers seeking to expand their operations.