IBM is focusing this year on offering e-business solutions and providing services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Hong Kong. The company also aims to expand its penetration in the Linux sector, Cordelia Chung, general manager of IBM China-Hong Kong, said. IBM was in talks with other companies about forming partnerships to provide e-business solutions, Ms Chung said. She did not reveal more details. In the light of the fact that about 95 per cent of Hong Kong companies were small and medium-sized enterprises, Ms Chung said IBM Hong Kong would concentrate on this business area by helping them to enable themselves for e-business. The company would roll out 'inexpensive bundle packages' specially targeted for those companies, Ms Chung said. The packages would be launched soon but she did not reveal the pricing. Earlier, the group had announced it would invest up to US$200 million in the Asia-Pacific in the next four years to fund Linux development. Ms Chung said IBM would continue to expand penetration of Linux through system integrators in Hong Kong. She quoted a research report as saying the information-technology market could see a softening of growth amid the slowdown of the global economy. Despite expected slower growth, IBM Hong Kong did not have any plans to scale down its business. In line with the group's strategy, IBM Hong Kong had increased staff last year, raising the number in Hong Kong to 16,000, she said. Ms Chung expected businesses would continue to spend capital on technology development despite the economic slowdown.