Events cancelled across Asia . . .
A large number of trade fairs have been cancelled across Asia for fear of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Major attractions and conferences have also been called off. Among the key events postponed are Singapore’s ITSHOW 2020, BuildTech Asia 2020, and its famous Food & Beverage Fair. South Korea, Malaysia, and Japan are also cancelling conferences in the wake of the contagion. Multinational companies are instead turning to YouTube and other social media channels to promote their new products.
Questions raised around Tokyo 2020 Olympics . . .
Recently diagnosed cases in Japan, which confirmed its first coronavirus death on Thursday, is causing concern in that country. Discussions about potentially postponing the Olympic Games in Tokyo this July have already taken place. But the International Olympic Committee, which is working with Japan and the World Health Organization, insists the games will go ahead. But similar optimism ahead of other major sporting events in the region, including the World Athletics Indoor Championships and the Shanghai Grand Prix, did little in the end as both were cancelled.
$8-billion hit for Canada in first quarter of 2020 . . .
The economic losses for China are already colossal; according to U.K. think-tank Oxford Economics, China will grow below 4% in the first quarter of 2020 and the overall growth this year is down 1.5 percentage points. The crisis is expected to push Asian GDP down at least for the first two quarters of 2020, if not longer. In Canada, the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) forecasted yesterday that real GDP will slow down 0.3 percentage points – some C$8 billion – in the first quarter of 2020 due to the coronavirus. But the PBO was cautious in its forecast, stating that “estimates of the overall impact of the coronavirus are highly uncertain at this time.” The global economy as a whole may well shrink 0.2% due to what some are now calling a pandemic.
- Japan Times: Japan on edge as COVID-19 spreads
- Nikkei Asian Review: Contagion fears force cancellation of trade fairs across Asia
- PBO: Economic and Fiscal Monitor - February 2020