The UN-designated WTCA Day was celebrated with an online session on Pandemic Trend of WTC Business – An APAC Perspective. WTCA day is commemorated to celebrate the collective contribution of WTCs worldwide to International Trade. The programme organized by WTCA Asia Pacific Regional Office (APRO) and APAC Trade Services MAC was attended by WTCs across the globe as well as their members.
- Mr. Robin van Puyenbroeck, Executive Director, Business Development, WTCA
- Mr. Anbu Varathan, 2020-2021 President, UFI
- Mr. Simon Wang, Executive Vice President, WTC Taipei
- Dr. Samantak Das, Executive Director and Chief Economist, Head – Research and REIS, JLL India & Sri Lanka
- Mr. Allan Roddy, Chief Research Officer, JLL APAC
- Ms. Pamela D. Pascual, President & CEO, WTC Metro Manila
- Dr. Bose Nair, APAC Trade Service MAC
- Mr. Scott Wang, Vice President, Asia Pacific, WTCA
The development and trend of exhibition & conference, trade services, commercial real estate and digitalization in the post-pandemic era were discussed. The speakers elaborated through case studies and their experiences on how pandemic related changes can affect the above industries.
Dr. Bose Nair, Chairman APAC Trade Services MAC in his concluding speech stated that COVID-19 has accelerated the trend for working from home. It has also revealed its limitations – in a knowledge economy, and an organization’s success will still depend on face-to-face interaction and collaboration. With universal flexible working, the office could become a vital anchor. He stated that the workplace plays a significant part in how people perceive a business. Companies will now be well aware that they could do with less office space. But they may also have realized that they also need better, more resilient office space. He feels that the crisis is probably going to accelerate the need for modern, flexible office space with lots of services. Since the walk-to-work concept is gaining momentum, WTC infrastructure should be similar to a mini smart city. He cited WTC Bengaluru and Chennai as examples.
Dr. Nair opined that digital experiences can lack the “wow factor” but as more and more physical activities become online, physical experiences that remain will become even more curated and immersive. Dr. Nair stated that WTC Infrastructure will remain as the preferred destination for Office Space, conferences, and Exhibitions. Value-added Trade Services position the WTC as a unique platform to promote global trade and investments. Keeping the importance of Trade Services played during the pandemic, WTCA has made Trade Services a mandatory service for all WTCs.