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An international business travel conference is expected to go ahead in Belfast at the weekend despite the risk of the spread of coronavirus, it has emerged.  (stock photo)

An international business travel conference is expected to go ahead in Belfast at the weekend despite the risk of the spread of coronavirus, it has emerged. (stock photo)

Getty Images/iStockphoto

An international business travel conference is expected to go ahead in Belfast at the weekend despite the risk of the spread of coronavirus, it has emerged. (stock photo)

An international business travel conference is expected to go ahead in Belfast at the weekend despite the risk of the spread of coronavirus, it has emerged.

Procurement company HelmsBriscoe is to hold meetings for its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) partners between Sunday, March 8 and Tuesday, March 10.

The meeting, which is expected to attracted 120 people, is to be held at the Hilton Hotel in Belfast city centre. A spokeswoman for Hilton Hotel on Tuesday said the meeting had not been cancelled.

Other international gatherings, such as international property expo MIPIM, due to take place in Cannes next week, have been postponed or cancelled.

HelmsBriscoe, which specialises in organising meetings on behalf of business clients, did not respond to a request for comment.

Meanwhile, staff at a global equipment company with six sites and 1,500 staff in Northern Ireland have travelled to Las Vegas to take part in international conference Conexpo. A spokeswoman for Terex said it was taking "stringent precautions" to protect its 10,000 staff world-wide against Covid-19.

"Thankfully, to date no Terex team member has been diagnosed with the virus," she added.

While the company is taking part in Conexpo, the spokeswoman said the firm is not conducting business travel to or from China, Macao, Hong Kong, South Korea or Italy.

The spokeswoman added: "Fortunately, as a forward thinking company embracing digital technology, we have invested in a suite of world-class communications tools. Several years ago, in a bid to reduce our carbon footprint we moved to a culture of more "virtual" meetings using video conferencing technology.

"Thanks to this, the impact of temporary travel restrictions is minimal and it is very much business as usual."

It said that the organisers of Conexpo - the world's biggest construction exhibition - had indicated the show would go ahead as planned between March 10 and 14. Terex has already set up its booth and hospitality area for the event.

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