By James Wells

BERLIN, GERMANY: Organisers of the world’s largest consumer electronics show, IFA, have confirmed that over 160,000 square metres of space within the Messe Berlin grounds will be occupied by 1,170 exhibitors from 32 countries when the show commences later this month.

Last year the event attracted 1,049 exhibitors with 651 foreign exhibitors from 32 countries. Over 212,000 people attended the event including 95,000 trade visitors that were responsible for 2.5 billion Euros of consumer electronics purchases.

“For 2007 we have achieved an increase of some 10 per cent in the rented area compared with 2006, thus improving even more on the record levels of the IFA 2005,” said Messe Berlin chief executive officer, Dr Christian Göke.

Among the major exhibitors at the event are Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, LG, Hitachi, Toshiba, Canon, JVC and Grundig. Other exhibitors planning high-profile stands at the event include, Daewoo, Beko, Fujitsu Siemens, Harman Internaional, Olympus, Maxfield, Vestel, Tekstor, Epson and Astra.

According to the chairman of the German Consumer Electronics Trade Association, Hans-Joachim Kamp, the growth of the IFA also reflects the positive economic development throughout this entire sector.

“During the current year it will provide the CE market with an additional impetus for growth,” he said.

Kamp expects strong expansion during the 4th quarter, and forecasts by market researchers indicate that this will be some 8 per cent higher than in the same period last year. Much of this growth will be accounted for again by flat screens using LCD and plasma technology, digital cameras, sat-nav equipment and notebook computers.

"The lasting and positive development of the market is also attributable to the willingness on the part of consumers to spend more on up-market equipment, and this is also apparent in the continual rise in the average price of television sets and in the disproportionate growth in per-capita expenditure on consumer electronics.”