The slowdown in Hewlett-Packard (HP) sales in the United States will have little impact in its Asia-Pacific software and business client sales areas, which plan to hire more people, an HP executive says. Steve Au-Yeung, general manager for software and business customer sales in the Asia-Pacific, said his branch, which has more than 200 staff, plans to hire another 100. 'It is not the first time that HP is going through that tough period,' said Mr Au-Yeung, who is based in Hong Kong but was in Singapore for a product launch. HP chief executive Carly Fiorina said recently the firm HP had suffered a slowdown in its desktop personal computer and printer hardware businesses in its first quarter, and warned full-year profits probably would be below analysts' predictions. The company blamed a slowing economy and tougher market in the US, along with sales problems. Executives added they were concerned the economic weakness could spread to other countries, particularly those dependent on US exports. Ms Fiorina had said China and Australasia already were affected. Mr Au-Yeung said the US weakness had not had an impact. 'We are enjoying very good growth. So the US slowdown does not impact on us that much.' The company as a whole, which acknowledged it had damaged some client relationships during a market restructuring and cost-cutting campaign, was working on controlling its profitability, Mr Au-Yeung said. In Singapore last Friday, HP unveiled new products for its Asia-Pacific market and announced telecommunications firm Pacific Century CyberWorks (PCCW) had signed up to offer them. HP introduced 'middleware' from its US$475 million Bluestone Software acquisition, which it re-branded and integrated with its own products, Mr Au-Yeung said. Middleware is the software that mediates between an application program and a network to manage the interaction between disparate applications across different computing platforms. The products, Netaction and OpenView, let Internet service providers and other companies quickly develop and deliver secure services and, most importantly, measure usage by new customers. PCCW will provide Netaction and OpenView services. PCCW head of data centre services Joseph Ma said: 'HP OpenView allows us to deliver the always-on communications infrastructure and services that are essential for our customers.' Mr Au-Yeung said the products 'bring the e-services dream into reality'. HP was talking to about seven companies that were interested in Netaction or OpenView, Mr Au-Yeung said.