The recession has taken its toll this year on CeBIT, Europe’s biggest technology fair.The number of trade exhibitors is down by a quarter to 4,300. The last time there were this few stands was in 1990. However the head of Bitkom, Germany’s IT industry association, said: “The high-tech sector is still pretty well positioned compared with other industries.” And CeBIT’s organisers expect to attract nearly half a million visitors. They said the largest number of missing vendors this year are from China, Taiwan and South Korea and indeed many of the no-show smaller companies has closed down. There are also a dearth of expensive elaborate stands and evening social events have been cut to a minimum by the high-tech manufacturers. How to cope with the recession is a major theme as CeBIT exhibitors target cash-conscious business customers. A growing interest by companies in reducing energy costs means this year’s green technology section will be five times larger than last year.