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IT majors say there's no tech slowdown here

It may be all doom and gloom in the US as a tech slowdown takes hold, but local offices of Sun and Compaq say they're not seeing a slowdown in IT spending here.

The slump in IT spending by US companies doesn’t appear to have spread to the Middle East yet. Sun and Compaq, two companies that would feel the effects of any drop in IT spending here, told ITP.net this week that business is as healthy as ever.

“The conditions of the market in the US are not always directly reproduced here,” said Philip Roy, Gulf general manager, Sun Microsystems Middle East Africa. “Although US companies have slowed in technology purchase, infrastructure spending is still growing in the Middle East. Banks, utilities and telcos for example are still upgrading their infrastructure to support new services and to increase the quality of existing services.”

Compaq also believes that the region is not feeling a ripple effect from what’s happening in the US market. “The Middle East market is in a different cycle, in the growth phase and has not reached maturity as yet,” says Joseph Hanania, managing director for Compaq Middle East. “According to IDC, the ME market is anticipated to grow by 21% in 2001 and the UAE market is expected to grow by 23%.”

Compaq says it’s seen no evidence yet of a cut in Middle East IT budgets. “We've not seen or experienced any change from businesses in the region as they continue to invest in IT according to their plans,” Hanania continues. “Startup companies are becoming more cautious, which is normal, but the market is still growing and developing.”

What is your company's attitude to IT spending this year? Let us know in ITP.net's spot poll on our home page.

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