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Thaifex-Anuga Asia Joins Lengthening List of Coronavirus-Compromised Trade Shows

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Fear of the killer novel coronavirus pandemic that originated in Wuhan, China late last year has postponed yet another major food business exhibition. Thaifex-Anuga Asia 2020, originally slated for May 26-30 in Bangkok, has been rescheduled for September 22-26 at the IMPACT Muang Thong Thani.

“The decision was made after careful deliberation and extensive discussions with stakeholders, including exhibitors, visitors and other partners,” according to a press release issued on March 12 by the annual event’s co-organizers (Thailand’s Department of Trade and International Trade Promotion (DITP), the Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) and the Cologne, Germany-headquartered Koelnmesse).

Regarded as the largest dedicated food and beverage trade fair in Southeast Asia, the show attracted 2,745 exhibitors, and 67,136 visitors from 134 countries in 2019. Its postponement joins a lengthening list of others in North America, Europe and elsewhere that include Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California, the Boston Seafood Show, and Seafood Expo Global in Brussels. Already in January, virtually all trade shows in China had been postponed until further notice.

“The wellbeing of all visitors, exhibitors and buyers of Thief-Anuga Asia is our highest priority,” said the organizers in a joint statement. “We look forward to welcoming all exhibitors, buyers and visitors later in the year and would like to express our gratitude for the continued support.”

As of March 13 the pneumonia-like Covid-19 disease had been attributed to the deaths of 4,931 people around the world, of which 3,169 perished in China. There were almost 130,000 confirmed cases of the sickness globally (80,793 in the PRC), with infections outside of country of origin now rising significantly as the number of cases in China are trending down.

The official case count in Thailand is currently put at 70, including one death. That compares with 1,016 fatalities in Italy, 429 in Iran, 84 in Spain, 66 in South Korea, 48 in France, 35 in the USA, 10 in the UK, seven in the Netherlands and Belgium combined, and lesser numbers in more than 100 other countries. On a positive note, more than 68,000 patients have reportedly recovered from the illness.