"It is a very tough state of affairs and a really tough resolution we now have made," Mats Granryd, normal director of GSMA, informed reporters in Barcelona on Thursday, a day after they canceled the occasion.
"Our priorities have been very clear and easy: the primary is the well being and security of everybody concerned within the present and the second precedence is the MWC's popularity and this occasion right here in Barcelona."
The choice to rule out the occasion from February 24 to 27 in Barcelona was taken after dozens of know-how corporations and wi-fi operators deserted the COVID-19 virus, together with giant corporations akin to Ericsson, Nokia, Sony, Amazon, Intel and LG. The businesses cited issues in regards to the security of employees and guests.
However the Spanish authorities stated in an announcement on Thursday that "it’s not the general public well being causes in Spain which have precipitated the cancellation."
"There isn’t a public well being motive for not holding occasions of this sort in our nation," the federal government added. He didn’t say what causes he believed have been behind the choice.
Spain solely has two folks contaminated with the virus, none of which is in Barcelona.
The mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, sitting subsequent to Granryd, additionally stated, "there isn’t a well being drawback in Barcelona, Catalonia or Spain in the present day. There isn’t a native motive" to cancel.
Granryd stated the choice had nothing to do with commerce variations between China and the USA, as a reporter urged that a few of those that had canceled have been at occasions in Amsterdam.
"Completely not. With everybody I've talked about, it is a well being and security concern, journey concern, concern about having to place essential enterprise sources in quarantine for 14 days, so it has nothing to do with the rest. apart from the pressure majeure unfold of coronavirus illness on the planet, "stated Granryd.
John Hoffman, government director of GSMA, emphasised that they have been coping with "folks essential of the enterprise," together with eight,000 CEOs. He stated "there was an incredible concern to interrupt their enterprise not solely now however sooner or later."
Granryd stated GSMA couldn’t talk about the prices of cancellation, since they have been "the primary days."
"It's not about cash," he added.
Hoffman stated they’d thought-about a diminished occasion however "all our consumers have indicated that they might not attend."
He stated they reviewed the info on Wednesday and concluded that "the overwhelming majority of those that deliberate to attend weren’t going to be there."
He stated it was not potential to postpone the occasion as a result of it was unimaginable to know when the state of affairs would change.
Describing it as "a really darkish day," Hoffman stated, nevertheless, the group hoped to carry the occasion once more in Barcelona in 2021. Town council of Barcelona and the nationwide authorities welcomed this.
The present was initially anticipated to draw greater than 100,000 guests from roughly 200 nations, together with 5,000-6,000 from China.
The choice will likely be an incredible financial blow to town, which has hosted the occasion for 14 years.
Colau stated "the native influence will likely be very substantial" and that the authorities will seek the advice of with the affected sectors to see how they’ll scale back monetary ache.
This system normally represents an incredible supply of earnings for resorts, eating places and taxi corporations. The authorities estimated that this system would generate 473 million euros ($ 516 million) and greater than 14,000 part-time jobs for the native financial system.