Today's Notables

ACHEMA Business Travel Log

July 2003
Hisashi Furuichi
President and C.E.O.

Mr. Betsuno's business trip report in last month's issue mentioned, I went to Frankfurt May 18 to attend the ACHEMA exhibition. The sponsors of the exhibition reported results as I mention later.

ACHEMA is one of the world's largest and oldest exhibitions in the chemicals manufacturing industry. The exhibition is held every three years and this year's was the 27th. Counting the years takes us back to the first being held in 1920? the testimonies in advertising were indeed true. This was the first time I attended the exhibition. There were many exhibitors and attendees yet compared to last year, the number of exhibitors decreased 7.9% and attendees decreased 8.4%. SARS is being blamed for the decrease in attendees but it is hard to say if this is true for exhibitors as well. Germany's economy is in worse shape than Japan's but as one exhibitor suggested, still with the number of exhibitors and attendees, it is hard to believe there is a recession in Germany. He also stated that domestic German business accounts only for 20% of their total sales, which was probably a representative figure for other companies as well. The total number of exhibitors was 3,819 companies and 191,161 attendees. Of the 3,819 exhibitors, the number of German companies exhibiting was decreased from 327 to 316, a 7.9% drop compared to last year. Of the decrease in the number of exhibitors, 96.6% were German companies, indicating that the decrease is more likely due to the poor Germany economy than the SARS scare.

Because of the decrease in domestic exhibitors, 41% of the total exhibiting companies were foreign firms. As Mr. Betsuno said in his report, the venue was very large with 138,345? used for booths which is about the size of three Tokyo Domes. I tried to cover most of the space but the booths seemed to go on forever. ACHEMASIA will be held in Beijing next May 11 through the 15th. If the SARS scare is over, we will consider exhibiting.

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