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.


Apple to launch first online store in India next week

Updated 18 September 2020

Apple to launch first online store in India next week

  • The company at present uses third-party online and offline retailers to sell its products in the country
  • India has become a key focus of tech giants over the last few years

NEW DELHI: Apple announced Friday that it will launch its first online store in India next week, as it seeks to increase sales in one of the world’s fastest-growing smartphone markets.
The company at present uses third-party online and offline retailers to sell its products in the country.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a tweet that the company “can’t wait to connect with our customers and expand support in India.”
The Sept. 23 launch comes ahead of India’s major Hindu festival season beginning next month.
With a nearly 1.4 billion people, including millions of new Internet users every month, India has become a key focus of tech giants over the last few years.
In August, three contract manufacturers for Apple iPhones and South Korea’s Samsung applied for large-scale electronics manufacturing rights in India under a $6.5 billion incentive scheme announced by the government.
Apple assembles some smartphones at Foxconn and Wistron’s plants in two southern Indian states.