The twin Hong Kong International Trade Fairs organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), The Hong Kong International Jewellery Show and the Hong Kong International Diamond, Gem and Pearl Show, previously scheduled from March 2 to 8, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exposition Centre and the Asia World Expo, and rescheduled to be held concurrently at the same venue, Asia World Expo from May 18th to 21st 2020, due to restrictions imposed as a result of the COVID19 pandemic, has once again been postponed for the second time, until August 3rd to 6th 2020.
The Twin Trade Fairs in 2019 attracted a record number of both exhibitors and buyers, with more than 4,600 exhibitors and 90,000 buyers from 141 countries and regions participating, which represented a 4% increase over the year 2018.
The main reason that prompted the HKTDC to postpone the shows from May 18-21 to August 3-6, was the introduction of new stringent regulations by the Hong Kong SAR Government that required visitors from any country other than China to quarantine themselves for 14 days beginning from March 19, 2020 and lasting for three months until June 18, 2020. This would necessarily mean that all overseas visitors and exhibitors planning to participate in the shows, if held from May 18-21, 2020, would have great difficulty in doing so.
The HKDTC issuing a statement pertaining to the postponement said, “We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to industry associations and buyers from around the world for their tremendous support for HKTDC events. We will make every effort to provide the industry with the same safe and effective jewellery-trading platform and continue helping companies capture business opportunities through multiple channels.”
This was a reference to the Work@Home package, operated through the digital HKTDC Sourcing Platform that facilitates trade by allowing sellers to feature up to 20 products and receive direct enquiries from the Platform’s 2 million international buyers. The HKTDC will also provide business-matching services with video conferences for any buyers who will not be able to attend the August fair
The organizers of the shows have made arrangements to hold the shows with extra Covid-19 precautions. One such precaution is the requirement that visitors to the venue, Asia World-Expo, will have to enter through an installation that checks their temperature and sanitizes clothes and carried items. Another important precaution the Asia World-Expo Management plans to take is the sterilization of staff uniforms and surfaces at the conference centre using a light-based coating, which can prevent the growth of microbes for up to 12 months. Further, the air will be purified and the venue disinfected with a wide-spectrum liquid sanitiser that kills both viruses and bacteria.
The HKTDC statement further added: “In light of the changing situation, we have decided to suspend the preparation work for the twin fairs. At the same time, we are consulting with the industry to come up with other viable solutions. Details of any new arrangements will be announced in due course.”