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Covid-19 Plunged Global Economy into Severe Contraction

Head of International Exhibitions Company of Iran Bahman Hosseinzadeh said since December 2019 the outbreak of coronavirus and its epidemic has have plunged the global economy into a severe contraction, the services and exhibition industry in particular.

He underscored that a large number of exhibitions that were registered in the calendar of world exhibitions and were slated to be held have been canceled or postponed for an indefinite period.

He reiterated that all the economic and commercial organizations believe that trade fairs, both specialized, private and international, are considered as vital marketing tools in the contemporary world, especially in times of recession, and no other marketing tool is comparable with an exhibition industry in terms of efficiency and profitability.

Hosseinzadeh underscored that this industry is linked to hundreds of other industries and professions, and cancellation of the exhibitions will harm all of these industries.

"As per a recent survey conducted commonly with EXPLORI institute and the World Exhibition Industry Association, up to 90% of economic or trade delegations that were scheduled to travel to target markets and enter into trade agreements have canceled their trips at the same time, he noted.

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), each year over three million inventions, discoveries, or innovations occurred in the world, most of which would enter into the commercialization stage and must be marketed to be introduced to the customers.

He said advertising via satellite, television or the ordinary media cannot provide an understandable accurate picture of all the features of these new products to the main audience, adding that holding exhibitions is considered as the most effective means to introduce all the features of these new products to customers.

Hosseinzadeh said the closure of exhibitions in the last eight months has inflicted tremendous damage on the producers and suppliers of these emerging commodities.

According to the latest statistics provided by the World Exhibition Industry Association (UFI), he said during the past six months to July 20, 2020, over $296 billion worth of trade and industrial contracts were canceled due to the annulment of trade fairs by industrial and commercial companies seeking to participate in the fairs.

During the same period, he said, the owners of the world"s exhibitions and related professions (transportation companies, airlines, hotel owners, exhibitors, etc.) have suffered over $180 billion due to the cancellation of exhibitions.

He said during the first half of 2020, the income of the world"s exhibition owners has decreased by 60% compared to the same period the previous year, adding that over 1.9 million people who are working in the world exhibition industry and the related fields have lost their jobs.

Hosseinzadeh underscored that the closure of the exhibitions has prevented the realization of two-thirds of the expected revenues of the participants in the exhibitions compared to the previous year.

The losses incurred to Europe, North America, Asia, and the Pacific (which are the most important owners of exhibition venues in the world) and related professions in the first half of 2020 are as follows:

 -Europe $59 billion

- North America $76 billion

- Asia-Pacific $40 billion

-Other regions $5 billion


According to international experts, our country is one of the most advanced holders of the exhibition industry in the Middle East and Africa, and is aware of the importance of exhibitions in the development of non-oil exports, job creation, identification of the latest technological developments, attracting foreign investments, the development of the tourism industry and many other achievements,” he added.

"Our country enjoys 200,000 to 300,000 square meters of indoor exhibition space, and in previous years, when the exhibition process was normal, between 500 and 600 exhibitions per year were held by the owners of these venues," he added.

The hasty closure of all the country"s exhibitions from the first half of March 2020 has inflicted financial damage worth 31,000 billion rials to our country"s exhibition industry and caused the loss of several thousand job opportunities. In our country, over 3,300 exhibition activists and 450 exhibitor companies have suffered from the closure of exhibitions, in addition to the owners of exhibition sites, and the necessary correspondence and contacts have been made to compensate for their losses."

He said the importance of reopening exhibitions is felt more than ever in the current sensitive situation where the vast economies of the world are facing a recession.

Therefore, relevant organizations such as the World Exhibition Industry Union, the European Exhibition Centers Union, and several important international organizations quickly developed and published the most complete health and safety protocols, which included all exhibition activities,” he noted.

The official underlined that the International Exhibitions Joint Stock Company of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in view of its responsibility to strengthen the country"s economic strength, has translated these protocols and completed and implemented them, and notified them to the owners of the exhibition sites of the country"s provinces.

He said that these protocols and how to implement them especially in the specialized exhibitions of production mutations and achievements in countering the coronavirus were approved by the country"s health officials.

Unfortunately, the continued closure of exhibitions increases the losses of the exhibition owners and related professions even more,” he said.

It should be noted that the International Exhibitions Joint Stock Company only organizes specialized B2B exhibitions for visitors, related craftsmen and traders, not the popular exhibitions with tens of thousands of visitors,” the official added.

Only people who have received the invitation cards and have already been selected from among industry owners, businessmen, members of chambers of commerce, cooperatives and trade unions are invited to visit the exhibition related to their profession (not the general public). The exhibition area and the halls supplying the goods are very large and all the visitors are supervised at all stages and observe the social distance,” he added.

Obviously, the specialized exhibitions cannot be compared to stadiums, conferences, large conferences, or other gatherings where participants are uncontrollable, and sometimes do not follow health rules and protocols,” he added

It is anticipated that in the current situation most countries of the world that realize the importance of exhibitions and their role in overcoming the economy from recession and helping business prosperity reopen the specialized B2B trade fairs under the supervision of health officials," he added.

11:46 - 8/09/2020    /    Number : 2240    /    Show Count : 1128

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