UK trade fair industry warns 30,000 jobs at risk

A pedestrian walks along the bank of the Thames in London. Britain’s Finance Ministry has spent more than £25 billion ($30.72 billion) on a furlough program that is supporting 9.3 million jobs. (AFP/File)
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Updated 14 July 2020

UK trade fair industry warns 30,000 jobs at risk

  • The threat of a second wave of COVID-19 cases triggered further uncertainty about reopening plans worldwide

LONDON: Around 30,000 jobs in Britain’s events industry are at risk due to increased uncertainty about when trade fairs and exhibitions could resume in the UK, an industry body representing event organizers, venues and suppliers warned on Monday.

The Events Industry Alliance (EIA) said companies would need at least eight to twelve weeks to restart exhibitions, calling on the government to set a date for reopening.

The coronavirus outbreak and the ensuing lockdown led to widespread cancelations and postponement of events to later this year or until 2021, while the threat of a second wave of COVID-19 cases triggered further uncertainty about reopening plans worldwide.

“Failure to provide a go-live date impacts the ability of almost 180,000 businesses to recover,” said Chris Skeith, CEO, Association of Event Organizers.

The world’s biggest exhibitions organizer Informa, which is based in London, held its first major event in Shanghai this month.

A spokesman for Informa said the company has seen countries, which make up the majority of its business, such as Germany, France, China, parts of the United States and Australia open for commercial gatherings.

“Nevertheless, the Group believes it is in everyone’s interests for the UK to catch up and give the green light to commercial gatherings too,” he added.

The exhibitions industry in the UK supports 114,000 jobs, according to the EIA.

An estimated 60 percent of the sector’s supply chain will not reopen in October, when the government’s job-supporting furlough scheme ends, the EIA added.

Britain’s Finance Ministry had said it spent more than £25 billion ($30.72 billion) on a furlough program that is supporting 9.3 million jobs. Earlier this month, it had promised another £30 billion to head off an unemployment crisis.


Dubai’s Jafza, Israeli business group sign strategic partnership

Updated 26 September 2020

Dubai’s Jafza, Israeli business group sign strategic partnership

DUBAI: Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone has signed a strategic partnership with an Israeli business group to support businesses and encourage economic cooperation following the normalization of ties between the UAE and Israel.

Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, the group chairman and chief executive of DP World, and Uriel Lynn, president of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce, signed the agreement virtually.

As part of the agreement, the two parties will share crucial information on new developments regarding economic relations between the countries aside from efforts to expand ties between businesses.

“The establishment of direct ties between two dynamic and advanced economies in the Middle East will undoubtedly provide impetus to economic growth, transforming the business landscape in the UAE,” bin Sulayem said in a statement.

It will be a mutually advantageous for Dubai and the Israeli business community, as more businesses will utilize the developed facilities and services in Jafza and create a bridgehead for the Israeli business sector to enhance its foreign trade in products and services,” Lynn meanwhile commented.

“Our main goal is to create a forum to promote economic cooperation and create new opportunities for businesses in both countries. Strengthening business ties and enhancing collaboration over time is also one of the primary objectives.”