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Region’s smart card market set for marked growth

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) smart cards market will reach USD 328.5m by 2014, with the telecommunication sector accounting for 64.4% of all smart card sales, according to market research by Frost and Sullivan.

The research agency further states that the strong demand for digital security is fuelling demand for smart cards. It is projected that the global smart card market will post double digit growth (CAGR around 12%) during 2011-2013, with the region growing at an annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.8 percent.

Eurosmart, the international not-for-profit association, based in Brussels, has reported that smart card shipments for telecommunications applications globally will grow to 4.5 billion units in 2011, up from 4 billion in 2010. The smart card sector across the MENA region is also witnessing increased interest from many governments, with national identity cards increasingly becoming mandatory for citizens, immigrants, and the expatriate community.

Following three decades of continued modernisation, GITEX, the exhibition that covers the latest developments of the ICT industry, continues to offer new features and segments such as card technology, which reflects on the exhibition’s goal to highlight and bring to the forefront the region’s growing industry trends, organisers, Dubai World Trade Centre said.

“Smart cards have become a part of our daily lives and the reliance on such technology is growing. As smart card technology continues to evolve and grow at such a rapid pace across the MENA region, exhibitors will appreciate the new platform that GITEX is providing the industry. Visitors to the new segment will be able to find advice and information about the range of card solutions available and the opportunities the Middle East market offers. Decision makers will appreciate the excellent networking opportunities this industry leading exhibition provides, and the prospect to generate and close significant sales deals,” commented Trixee Loh, SVP, World Trade Centre, organiser of the event.

According to Loh, one of the companies showcasing their expertise is Cardz Middle East Trading LLC, the company behind the Dubai E-Gate Project.

“The demand for smart card technology is varied and unique to the business dynamics of the region. Companies need a common platform to show the market what solutions the industry can offer. For regional companies like us, GITEX allows us to showcase our technology to a wider regional and global audience. As a company we have interesting projects that we can highlight to visitors and potential customers that will help us explore more revenue streams,” commented Nitin Shabbir, MD, Cardz Middle East Trading LLC.

Exhibitors at the new GITEX card technology segment include The Digital Identification Solutions Group, a provider of high security identification solutions to companies, associations, government authorities, financial institutions, and other enterprises around the world, organisers said.

“There is an ever increasing demand of highly secure ID credential & personalisation solutions in this region. Digital Identification Solutions Group has been a pioneer in this field and is an active solution provider in the region. Gitex is Middle East’s leading IT exhibition and we are very happy to be associated with it. We have, in the past, launched our flagship products in this region through the GITEX platform which has helped us in winning major Government Contracts and, hopefully, will continue to do so with our product releases,” said V. Gopalakrishnan, regional director, Digital Identification Solutions, Dubai.

“The Card Technology feature will reflect and drive one of the most rapidly developing ICT sectors. From widespread use in the financial services sector to mobile phone sim cards, road toll systems, national ID cards and hospital records, the use of smart card technology continues to grow rapidly. In keeping with regional advancements, GITEX will again be expanding its profile to incorporate this increasingly important sector,” added Loh.

According to Loh, GITEX Technology Week 2011, taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre from 9 – 13 October, is introducing brand new elements to reinforce its position as the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) region’s to further cement its position as the  leading ‘finger on the pulse’ technology event. “Other new features for 2011 include GITEX Digital Marketing, and Cybersecurity@GITEX, two of the most relevant ICT sectors to the business community today,” he added.

As one of the three largest ICT exhibitions in the world, the show connects more than 136,000 industry professionals from five continents with over 3,500 suppliers, and is one of the most influential and high-profile events in the global ICT sector today.

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