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The Online Business Dialogue was organized by SCCI in partnership with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF), on October 4, 2021, under the theme “Restart Asian Economies: The comeback of trade fairs”.

The objective of the dialogue was to discuss the current situation in the trade fair industry worldwide and give an outlook on the short-term restart and the longer-term effects of the Covid19 pandemic with renowned international experts.

The moderator of the Online Business Dialogue was Mr. Waqar Rizvi whereas the panelists invited for the online dialogue were Mr. Jochen Witt, President JWC, Mr. Sambit Kumar Mund, Senior General Manager-Business Development at HITEX Exhibition Center (Hyderabad International Trade Expositions Limited), and Ms. Shaira Saleem, Vice Chairperson SCWEC (Maldives chapter).

During the event, Ms. Shaira Saleem, Vice Chairperson SCWEC (Maldives chapter) underscored the significance of exhibitions and tradeshows for Maldivian business visionaries at the international level.

She added, “regardless of the industry you address, you probably need support from vendors or other outsourced services. Probably the greatest advantage of exhibiting at a trade show is the opportunity to create these professional bonds. Great connections can improve your operation and lead to further success.”

Mr. Jochen Witt, President JWC, stressed the prominence of trade fairs globally as they truly can bring momentum to industries and countries. He described, “trade fairs are platforms for efficiency, opportunities, and capability of ventures, it is also a platform for innovation and productivity as it brings novelty to certain industries and countries. Simultaneously, the trade shows help in creating partnerships in the relevant industries which can be either distribution partnership or production partnership.

Moreover, trade fairs create hype within the market and across the region which results in indirect returns as so many other sectors like boarding, lodging, and entertainment are engaged.”

While speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sambit Kumar Mund, Senior General Manager-Business Development at HITEX Exhibition Center (Hyderabad International Trade Expositions Limited), shared the challenges India has been facing due to the Covid-19 outbreak. He stated that the impact of the pandemic on exhibitions and expo industry has been unprecedented with numerous worldwide and national events being postponed or canceled in the country.

Trade fairs connect people. “Despite the travel restrictions, local events were organized which engaged the locals and the outcome was exceptional. Now it is high time to reshape the trade fair industry at a broader level to revamp all the industries including hospitality and travel”, added Mr. Sambit.

Mr. Rizvi conducted the questions and answers session which was followed by a thank you note.

Mr. Frank Hoffmann, Regional Project Manager (South Asia), FNF applauded the SCCI and FNF partnership, which extends for decades, through which it has achieved constructive outcomes.

In his concluding remarks, he thanked SCCI for organizing the online dialogue. Mr. Frank also appreciated the moderator and panelists for conducting an insightful dialogue.