UFI Global Policy Leadership Series: Enabling Trade & Society

14th Sep, 2021

UFI, the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, has launched its Global Policy Leadership Series (GPLS). The GPLS, part of the advocacy work UFI undertakes on behalf of the exhibition industry, features a series of one-on-one interviews with trade and tourism ministers from around the globe.

Anbu Varathan, President of UFI, said, “Advocacy for the exhibition industry has become increasingly important throughout the pandemic. It has been over a year and a half since we stopped our normal programming, and while we see some positive progression and restarting, there is also a yo-yo effect of starting and stopping that continues to cause uncertainty for our sector. As a global industry, we must strengthen our ties with governments throughout the world to reinforce our critical role in rebuilding economies and societies, and to assure authorities, as well as customers, that we are a safe and effective manner of bolstering business, trade, and tourism.”

Throughout the year, this series will feature conversations with national government representatives discussing the role of exhibitions in economic recovery and building back better post-pandemic. In the first three interviews of the series, UFI CEO Kai Hattendorf sat down with Edward Yau Tang-wah, GBS, JP, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Hong Kong, Robert Troy TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Trade Promotion, Ireland, and Rita Marques, Secretary of State for Tourism, Portugal (cover photo).

Kai Hattendorf stated, “It is fascinating to have the opportunity to speak with different ministers from around the world. They all have unique perspectives on economic recovery and the plans for their country/region, but one thing all of these discussions have in common is that the ministers believe strongly in the role of trade exhibitions in driving both global trade as well as local tourism. Now, more than ever, we need to work together as a global industry and with governments around the world to get back to doing what we do best – bringing people together.”

The GPLS interviews are freely available for all to view, please click here to see the discussions with representatives from Hong Kong, Ireland, and Portugal. More interviews will continue to be added throughout the year, to be updated when a new interview is available, please sign up here.

Quotes from ministers showing support for the exhibition industry 

“I have no doubt in sharing with everyone that the business events industry has a huge role to play in the recovery of the tourism sector.“ Rita Marques, Secretary of State for Tourism, Portugal. 

“The trade and exhibition industry is always a good platform for us to plan ahead, and, for the post pandemic era, how best we can bring back business [and] provide a better platform for all trade which can rely on the success of this particular industry.” Edward Yau Tang-wah, GBS, JP, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Hong Kong. 

“Your sector creates opportunities for trade, a platform for businesses to grow, a platform for businesses to engage with one another and it is critically important, particularly for our SME sector.” Robert Troy TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Trade Promotion, Ireland. 

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