This year’s Asia Pacific Regional Internet
Conference For Operational Technologies (APRICOT) will examine the regional
economic turmoil’s impact on the Internet industry.
“The particular mission for Apricot 99 is, to paraphrase, a bigger bang for
your baht,” said Pindar Wong, an executive council member for APRICOT ’99,
which is being held in Singapore from 1-5 March.
“The slow down in the economy has also impacted the Internet industry,
specifically the Internet service provider industry, whose basic cost
structure is primarily dominated in US dollars,” Wong said.
“They have faced tremendous financial pressure to make their service more
efficient and to introduce new value added services.”
Wong said Apricot ’99 is primarily focused around bringing the
latest skills and knowledge required for those ISPs to survive in the
current regional economic climate.
Since its inception in 1996, the non-profit conference’s purpose has been
to develop and advance the skills and understanding necessary to keep the
Internet growing in the Asia Pacific region.
The majority of attendees are technology professionals from around the
region and the world.
There were approximately 320 attendees from 24 countries in 1998, 630 in
1997, and 280 in 1996.
“This year, because of the financial crisis we trying to be very
conservative. Our lower bound estimate is 300 and our upper bound
estimate is 600,” said Wong. “It all really depends on the financial
pressure of the delegates coming from all over the region.”
Similarly, despite the loyalty of traditional sponsors, APRICOT has had
some difficulty coordinating sponsorship for this year’s event.
APRICOT ’99 is taking place during a festival of technology shows, meetings
and conferences in Singapore at the beginning of March. They include Internet World Asia, the Singapore Linux Conference, ICANN and the annual general meetings of
several leading Asia Pacific Internet organizations.