The Halifax Convention Centre is celebrating its one-year anniversary since its first client event was hosted on Jan. 20, 2018. “We are proud to have served as the backdrop for many important conversations and celebrations for our community, and with our clients and delegates,” said Carrie Cussons, president and CEO of the Halifax Convention Centre. “Our team and community welcomed guests from around the world with true East Coast hospitality and showed them what Nova Scotia has to offer. It was a stellar first year of operations and the pace of bookings for 2019 and beyond continues to be strong.” Since opening in Dec. 2017, the Halifax Convention Centre has hosted over 140 events and over 90,000 guests, including 44 national and international conventions. These events have generated an estimated $60 million in new money for the province. The centre worked with local organizations and partners to create a full Nova Scotia experience for their clients and guests. This included a partnership with Tourism Nova Scotia to feature a Visitor Information Centre and a Taste of Nova Scotia pop-up booth available for national and international conventions. The in-house culinary team also worked closely with local suppliers to feature their ingredients throughout the menu. “It has been an outstanding first year of operation for the new Halifax Convention Centre and its partners,” said Business Minister Geoff MacLellan. “Having a vibrant, modern convention centre is helping us welcome more visitors, drive economic growth and attract investment, for the benefit of all Nova Scotians.” “The Halifax Convention Centre is welcoming the world to the heart of our vibrant downtown – showcasing the food, drink, entertainment and legendary hospitality that turns delegates into return visitors to our growing city,” said Mayor Mike Savage. Major events the centre will host in 2019 include the National Metropolis Conference on Immigration (750 delegates), Operating Room Nurses Association of Canada (800 delegates) and the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians national conference (800 delegates). For the full calendar of events, visit http://www.HalifaxConventionCentre.com/Events .
The new minimum wage of $128 per month, which came into effect on 1 January 2015, is projected by the International Labour Organization (ILO) to increase overall average wages in the garment industry – which include bonuses and overtime – from $183 to $217 per month, increasing factories’ wage bills by approximately 18.7 per cent.“It is important that all sides work together to ensure Cambodia’s garment industry remains economically viable,” said Maurizio Bussi, the ILO’s Country Director for Thailand, Cambodia and Lao PDR. “We call on the global brands to play their part. We have received encouraging signals that key buyers will honour the pledge they gave the Cambodian Government in September.”The rise comes in the wake of other adjustments since 2012 that have seen the minimum wage increase from $61 per month. At the same time, the prices that Cambodian factories receive in their main markets have been stagnating or declining, with the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics calculating a 4.5 per cent drop in prices paid for apparel imports from Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries since June 2012.“Caught between these two forces, factories have seen a substantial fall in their operating margins over the past three years,” said Malte Luebker, the ILO’s Senior Regional Wage Specialist. “In principle, factories can respond by increasing efficiency, using measures that range from better work organization to energy conservation. However, our research shows that these gains are gradual and will only enable factories to cover a small share of the expected wage increase.”For example, optimistic projections of labour productivity growth in the garment sector see room for roughly four per cent growth in 2015, which would enable factories to raise wages by $7, to $190 per month, without eroding their margins. The expected wage increase to $217 per month is far higher than what can be generated through efficiency gains. To cover the shortfall, and assuming other costs remained the same, the ILO estimates that global brands would need to pay Cambodian factories between 2.4 and three per cent more, adding about two cents to the production costs of t-shirts that can currently be made for 80 cents and that might retail for about $10. On annual garment and footwear exports worth $6 billion, the small increase could generate additional revenue of $160 million to support the new wage levels.