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Business

Fewer Visitors, Exhibitors Expected at CeBIT

A shrinking economy and growing Middle East crisis is taking its toll on the world’s largest computer and telecommunications trade fair, CeBIT, which is scheduled to open in Hanover, Germany, in March. “We’re expecting more than 600,000 visitors, but whether or not they come is something we can’t predict because of the Iraq crisis,” Ernst Raue, chairman of Deutsche Messe AG, the company which organizes the mass event, told the German news agency DPA. The company said it is expecting 6,500 exhibitors, 1,400 fewer than the previous year. In 2002, more than 674,000 people attended the fair, significantly fewer than the previous year and the first drop in visitors the CeBIT had recorded in six years.