EghtesadOnline: Iran’s exhibition industry has suffered losses estimated at 3.1 trillion rials ($14 million) following the outbreak of the new coronavirus, according to the CEO of Iran International Exhibitions Company.
Bahman Hosseinzadeh also told IRNA that numerous jobs have been lost due to the cancellation of a majority of national and international exhibitions since the Covid-19 outbreak began about six months ago.
“The exhibition industry in Iran provides 3,300 direct jobs. There are about 450 companies active in manufacturing booths and equipment for exhibition venues. As every 4.5 to 5 square meters of exhibition create one job, all of these jobs are now at stake,” he said.
Ali Moti-Jahani, the deputy head of Iran Chamber of Cooperatives for Exhibition Research, Planning and Support, says only three exhibitions have been held since the pandemic started six months ago.
“We hope the National Coronavirus Headquarters issues permits for us to resume holding specialized fairs in the near future. Since Tehran International Fairground’s buildings and premises are spread over 85 hectares of land, it is possible to abide by health protocols and social distancing,” he said.
Hosseinzadeh said recently that in view of the significant role played by specialized exhibitions in promoting non-oil exports, Iran International Exhibitions Company is determined to hold all events, particularly Elecomp, Agrofood, Oil and Gas, Iran Health and Building Industry exhibitions, as scheduled despite the coronavirus.
“Shutting down the economy is not a viable option, considering scientists’ predictions that the coronavirus outbreak is likely to persist for years. However, it is still possible to hold exhibitions according to health protocols,” he was quoted as saying by IRNA.
Noting that 82 events are slated for the current Iranian year (March 2020-21), the official said Tehran International Fairground is equipped with disinfectant tunnels and all essential measures have been taken to stem the spread of the virus.
“Other measures, including online registration, the ban on visits by the public, the training of security personnel and Iranian Red Crescent Society members who are stationed at the fairground and distribution of coronavirus-fighting products will ensure the safety of participants and visitors,” he said.