How Hong Kong and the mainland can wire up with the rest of the world to benefit from information and communications technologies (ICT) is one of the main themes of an exhibition that opens on Wednesday. About 400 exhibitors from around the world are attending the five-day Hong Kong Information Infrastructure Expo and Conference, to be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai. The event is organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and the Information Technology Services Department. The organisers have planned the expo under 15 themes, three of them new this year. The expo is accompanied by a series of forums at which topical themes relating to the industry will be discussed. Subjects include 'How To Protect Your Enterprise Information', 'Penetrating The China Wireless Market', and 'Earning Shares In The China Online Game Market'. Key players attending the expo are China Mobile, Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard, NEC and Yahoo!, and such local heavyweights as PCCW. One of the highlights of the first day will be the Tripartite Partnership Forum, co-organised by the Hong Kong And Mainland Software Industry Co-operation Association. Local and foreign delegates will identify their key strengths and priorities, discuss areas of mutual co-operation, and map out strategies for future ICT development. After the discussion, participants will have the opportunity to explore new partnerships and broaden their business networks. Also tomorrow, Gordon Astles, president, Asia-Pacific operations, Cisco Systems, will be joined by David Gee, vice-president of Yahoo! Enterprise Solutions, and Wang Ziaochu, president of China Mobile HK at the 'International Conference'. They will share views on the evolution of ICT, among other topics for discussion. Besides the main items on the expo agenda are other features that exhibitors and visitors will be able to take advantage of, such as the on-site IT business consultation and business partnering services. For example, at the IT Clinic, experts will offer small and medium-sized enterprises free one-on-one consultations and practical management solutions to IT problems. The Financing Forum will offer a platform for discussing and trouble-shooting financing and funding problems. This year's show sees the broadest international and local participation in the history of the expo. Countries taking part include Australia, Canada, China, India, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Vietnam, the United States and Britain. The mainland will have the strongest presence, with exhibitors from Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, and beyond the Pearl River Delta, with players from Shanghai, Beijing, Yantai and Wuhan. The three new theme zones introduced this year are Information Security, e-Logistics and Retail Technology, and Enterprise Informatisation. The zones will offer the latest industry information and focus on innovative ways to enhance business efficiency. The booths and displays are designed to be both informative and entertaining. The Hall of Innovations, for example, will showcase the latest ICT products in the local and international marketplace. The Linux Zone Open Forum, organised by the Hong Kong Linux Industry Association, will present two discussions, on Successful Web Marketing and Effective Online CRM. The Guangdong/Hong Kong e-Logistics Forum will give e-Logistics providers an opportunity to exchange views on ICT applications to logistics and supply chain management. Leading players from Guangdong will discuss co-operation with Hong Kong in e-Logistics development. An eagerly anticipated feature will be Excursions to China Technology Hubs, at which overseas exhibitors and delegates will be able to explore business opportunities in the southern China technology hubs of Zhuhai and Shenzhen. The forum will enable participants to set up meetings with local government officials. In a demonstration of typical Hong Kong efficiency, the organisers have incorporated Octopus cards to facilitate participation. Visitors can use the card to register in advance for the expo. Registration details will be stored in the admission database, and as participants swipe their Octopus cards at the expo entrance an admission badge will be printed out. The first three days of the expo are limited to trade visitors, and the public will be admitted on the last day. For more information, visit the Expo Web site at http://www.hkiiexpo.com .