With business sentiment improving in Hong Kong, South Korea's Samsung Electronics expects technology sales to pick up steam this quarter, with demand from the public sector leading the way. Samsung, the city's leading supplier of netbooks and display monitors, said it expected healthier consumer spending to accompany steady growth in the government, small and medium-sized business and education sectors. 'The latest market data and our project wins tell me there is much room to expand in those market segments,' said Joseph Wan, the director of Samsung's information technology business group in Hong Kong. Wan said the government, for example, had not reduced its technology expenditure for the year despite the economic downturn. 'We have also installed more than 2,000 displays at the Hong Kong International Airport, including about 300 at the luggage claims and check-in counters early this year,' he said. Samsung's information-technology business unit sells notebook computers, printers and display monitors to the consumer and commercial markets. Market research firm International Data Corp (IDC) expects information technology spending in Hong Kong to total HK$38.17 billion this year, down from HK$41.19 billion last year, because of the slowdown. 'Despite having to operate in such an exceptionally challenging environment, the public sector in the Asia-Pacific remains a high-value and stable opportunity for information and communications technology vendors, as these investments are closely aligned with governments' goal of economic recovery,' said Raphael Phang, the IDC vice-president for government insights in the region. In its latest quarterly business tendency survey, the Census and Statistics Department found 30 per cent of business owners expected a profitable fourth quarter, significantly better than the sentiment in the second and third quarters. 'The economy is showing signs of improving, and personal computer shipments are starting to trend up ... We are energised, excited and focused,' Microsoft Hong Kong general manager Peter Yeung Si-ngai said. The software giant launched its new Windows 7 operating system last week on more than 90 computer models from partners such as Samsung, Lenovo Group and Hewlett-Packard.