California Gets A High-Tech Boost

Sometimes it's beneficial to have a Governor with Hollywood buzz. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced yesterday that California has become the first state to be an official partner in the large CeBIT high-tech trade fair held annually in Germany.

The move should boost high-tech businesses, which will gain an international showcase for their IT goods and services. It's usually just countries who get the visibility at CeBIT, but California's economy dwarfs that of many nations, so the state is leveraging its economic clout. "We look forward to demonstrating California's global leadership in information communications technology," Schwarzenegger said. He added areas to be highlighted include green IT, entertainment, Internet-based services, TeleHealth, security, consumer electronics, digital content generation and distribution, aerospace, and research and technology. Another goal is to stimulate more bilateral high-tech business between Califoria and Germany.

This action comes at a critical time for both the state and it's governor. The recession has battered California and it's high-tech sector. Unemployment is the third-highest in the nation, and the state is running a deficit estimated at nearly $16 billion. In fact, Schwarzenegger just asked Uncle Sam to prepare to lend California $7 billion to pay its bills because its credit lines may run out. And the Governor's own popularity rating has dropped precariously, thanks to the fiscal mess and other political battles.

As high-tech goes, so goes California, so the CeBIT arrangement just may help pull the state of its current doldrums.

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