By Michael Kruppe T he first half of April saw Shanghai s long awaited return to normal daily life We have traffic jams on the roads again the metro trains are filling up and things are almost back to normal for the city s office workers Bars and restaurants are open and in the parks you see more and more people going about without masks Re tailers both smaller shops and large shop ping centres are getting more and more cus tomers However the virus still clearly com mands plenty of respect as indeed it should There are no new daily infections in Shang hai The only problem at the moment is what are known as imported cases Conse quently the government has intensified its checks at the borders and airports in order to prevent a second wave In our industry how ever there are still restrictions no trade fairs are taking place and Shanghai s hotels are only using around five percent of their ca pacity On the other hand things have pro gressed further in some second and third tier cities In China that still means cities with populations of five to ten million Small er trade fairs have already been held in some of these cities If further events run without any trouble that would be a positive sign for government decision makers who would then have to give the trade fair industry the official all clear to resume operations In Shanghai we are in close contact with the authorities and associations locally and have told them how we see the situation We drew up a document that we submitted to the lo cal government in an effort to convince them to give us the green light to stage trade fairs from May Unfortunately however we re ceived a letter from the central government in Beijing on 9 April informing us that no trade fairs would be permitted until further notice That makes us think we will now have to wait until at least June and possibly July or August If trade fairs can be held from June or July it is likely that they will be domestic events We have to assume that international exhibitors and visitors will still not be al lowed into the country These trade fairs are therefore likely to be only 50 to 70 percent of their original size Intensified security and health checks are to be expected for ex hibitors visitors and trade fair partners for the first three to six months It s safe to as sume that the number of visitors allowed in each exhibition hall will also be reduced We are maintaining a close dialogue with the au thorities on security regulations and checks And we also run through different models with them The economic damage done to us by Covid 19 is more than severe although we don t have precise figures for it yet We do know that we have lost at least half a year The only real ly good news is that we have gained time for internal pro cesses maintenance and mod ernisation work on the toilets and conference rooms for ex ample That can now proceed undisturbed and it means we will be in a perfect position when everything gets started again www sniec net Michael Kruppe is the general manager of the Shanghai New International Expo Centre SNIEC 26 TradeFairs Internation al 2 2020 CHINA Waiting for the green light At the Shanghai New International Expo Centre SNIEC there is cautious optimism about when they might be able to host trade fairs again A situation report INTERNATIONAL In Shanghai kehrte die Normalität im täglichen Leben in der ersten Aprilwoche zurück In Shanghai daily life went back to normal in the first week of April Ph ot o S N IE C

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