An Exhibition of Computers from Great Britain
September 21, 1987
Twelve computer manufacturers based in Great Britain demonstrated personal and home computers, peripheral devices and software at the "COMPUTER-87" exhibition held at Moscow's World Trade Centre.
Whereas such companies, as SATRA, CASE COMMUNICATIONS and AUTODESK have already gained some experience of business cooperation with Soviet agencies, the exhibition provided most of the participating British firms with the first chance to make their way to the Soviet market.
The exhibition was co-sponsored by the Soviet Union's SOVINCENTRE association and Britain's BARRY MARTIN GROUP OF COMPANIES.
Nick Applegarth, International Area Manager, USSR and Eastern Europe, CASE COMMUNICATIONS CO.:
Our company designs and manufactures communications and data transmission systems regardless of the type of terminal or computer employed by the user. At the current exhibition the company demonstrates its modems, multiplexers and text processors some of which were exported to the Soviet Union earlier.
CASE COMMUNICATIONS exported its product to the USSR for the first time in 1984 (it was a "Case-DCX" multiplexing system for the USSR Ministry of the Gas Industry). Later the company delivered equipment and teleprinters to the USSR Ministry of Merchant Marine, the USSR Health Ministry and the USSR Ministry of Civil Aviation.
CASE COMMUNICATIONS hopes that it will be able to broaden out its operations in the Soviet Union. At present the value of trade with Soviet partners stands at 1.5 million pounds sterling. However, this number could grow by another million pounds. The work of the company's division set up specially for sales in Eastern Europe could promote that. Relaxed restraints on the export of computer facilities to socialist countries as decided by COCOM (Coordination Committee on Export Controls) will to a certain extent facilitate brisker trade. However, the export of the most advanced computer communication equipment is still banned.
Ari Buys, Sales Manager -- Europe, TRANSTEL COMMUNICATIONS:
At the current exhibition TRANSTEL COMMUNICATIONS demonstrated printers, keyboard and automatic transmitting teleprinters and facsimile equipment. The company supplied TASS (the News Agency of the Soviet Union) with scores of "Comscribe-5" Russian, Latin/Russian and Latin/Arab alphabet receiving teleprinters.
TRANSTEL COMMUNICATIONS is offering wire and information services "Fax-Com" facsimile machines and a "Com-Professional" communication terminal with a memory of 256 kilobits.
Richard Handyside, Managing Director, AUTODESK:
The firm's expansion is linked with the development of software for automatic design systems for 16- and 32-bit personal computers. Earlier this kind of software was used only on major computers. Our development work made it possible to slash the cost of programmes. "Autocad" software is used by more than one-half of all operators of automatic design systems the world over.
At the current exhibition AUTODESK showed the eighth-generation "Autocad" programme (a Russian language manual for it is now being prepared).
Starting in 1986 "Autocad" software is used by many Soviet organisations and manufacturers, for instance, the AZLK automaking plant in Moscow. During the "STROJINDUSTRIYA-87" (Building Industry) exhibition in Moscow AUTODESK opened talks with the USSR State Committee for Construction. The sides are discussing the establishment of training centres in the Soviet Union to train operators in using "Autocad" programmes (the training is not necessarily confined to automaking industry specialists. Those working in other sectors of the economy can also undergo training). We hope to inaugurate 3 to 4 centres as early as before the end of 1987.
Greg Ostemel, head of the Moscow representative office, SATRA:
At our stand at the current exhibition we demonstrated microcomputers for use in the home, schoolroom and office, as well as peripheral devices and accessories manufactured by other firms. Under an arrangement with COMMODORE, 150 computers have already been shipped to the Soviet Union through Finland.
Talks are in progress on the delivery of a further 150 16-bit computers for the central offices of the USSR Ministry of Foreign Trade. It is planned that a servicing contract will be signed with the Computer Centre of that ministry. Under the terms of the contract SATRA's specialists will service the facilities installed there.
The company is one of the main suppliers of COMMODORE computers to the Soviet market. Computers of that type compare well with IBM's similar facilities. However, SATRA's asking price is approximately half the price demanded by IBM. One more important factor is that SATRA offers its Soviet partners barter deals -- computers in exchange for automobiles, vodka, oil and industrial oil waste.
D. Springle, Director, ESL OVERSEAS LIMITED:
Our company is a supplier of microcomputers, table printers, peripheral devices and software. ESL OVERSEAS LIMITED is also turning out equipment for text processing in two languages.
Over the four years of its existence as an independent firm ESL OVERSEAS LIMITED exported to the Soviet Union 500 items of various equipment, primarily for the USSR Ministry of Higher Education. Trade with Soviet partners stands at 300,000 to 400,000 pounds sterling a year.
(c) 1987 Novecon