By John S. McClenahen With China and India, the world's two most populous countries, and Japan, the world's second-largest economy, Asia is the most important regional information technology (IT) and telecommunications market in the world. At least that's the claim of a preliminary and unpublicized report from the U.S. Commerce Dept.'s International Trade Administration. Asia's market demand for IT and telecom equipment was about $100 billion, roughly 25% of the world's total, in 2000. That number is expected to grow dramatically over the next few years. For example, it'll be getting a boost as, by 2003, the Internet user base in Asia doubles to 96 million people, 26% of all Internet users in the world. What's more, by 2004, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to account for 20% of worldwide online spending, with e-commerce revenues reaching $1.6 trillion.