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Rwanda president at Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas

The 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the world’s largest tradeshow for consumer technology, begins tomorrow (January 7) in Las Vegas with a focus on an important and often overlooked component of the success of the CE industry: international free trade.

Deelgates from Rwanda, Uganda, and Ethiopia, including the president of Rwanda, will participate in events during the five-day programme.

At CES in Las VegasA distinguished series of speakers and panels, as well as other activities, will highlight the importance and need for free trade policies that will expand economies and create new American jobs.

“The technology industry is a shining star in many world economies, including the U.S., and that simply would not be the case without international trade,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), producer of the International CES. “Now, more than ever, the industry must demonstrate to U.S. policymakers that free and open trade – not self-defeating protectionism – are the keys to innovation and world economic progress.”

Among the trade-related programming highlights for the 2008 International CES:

  • Ambassador Susan Schwab, United States Trade Representative, will discuss the state of trade in today’s global economy, and the ramifications on the CE industry on Tuesday, January 8, 2008 from 3-4 p.m. at the LVCC, North Hall, N260.
  • A new CES Industry Insider Series program, “Technology and Emerging Countries: Advancing Development Through Technology Investments,” from 9-1:30 p.m., Wednesday, January 9 at the Las Vegas Hilton Theater, will delve into the role consumer technology plays in long-term development of emerging economies. This inaugural program, consisting of keynote addresses, panel sessions and demonstrations of technologies, will feature top technologists and government officials, including His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda.
  • Top government officials and business leaders from around the world will participate in the Technology and Emerging Countries Program and other trade events throughout the International CES. Countries represented include Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia, China and the United Arab Emirates.

Attendees will also be met by “Support Free Trade” kiosks on the exhibit floor where letters can be sent to Congressional representatives asking them to support free trade. Additionally, the Experience CEA booth in the Grand Lobby of the Las Vegas Convention Center will offer more information for attendees to learn more about how free trade benefits the industry and American workers.

Much of the consumer electronics industry’s growth over the past decade resulted from cutting-edge innovation and the ability for American companies to export to foreign markets. Nearly half of CEA’s 2 200 member companies assert that exporting to a new market within the next 12 months is part of their business plan. Of CEA’s total membership, nearly 80 percent are small and mid-sized companies that rely on free trade to stay in business.

Click here for more information on the CEA’s Free Trade Initiative.

About CEA:
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $148 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2 200 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also sponsors and manages the International CES – Where Entertainment, Technology and Business Converge. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services. Find CEA online at

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The Big Change is a business strategy blog and newsletter published by Arthur Goldstuck, managing director of World Wide Worx, a leading technology research organisation based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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