John Hoffman, the CEO of GSMA, The employers of mobile manufacturers organized by the Mobile World Congress, has admitted this Wednesday that, last year, during the political crisis in Catalonia for the declaration of independence, the show was about to move out of Spain. "We were extremely worried, we had everything ready to go and we had as candidates two cities outside of Spain," Hoffman revealed at the presentation of this year's edition, which takes place from February 25 to 28. "Fortunately, nothing happened, and we did a good job. Now I'm not worried, but I'm always ready, "he said, although he added a note:" I do not see any reason to move from Barcelona, even after 2023, when the contract is over. "
The permanence of Mobile World Congress in the Catalan capital, one of the main international economic showcases that the city has, is a great concern for the administration. This year, the threat has been carried out by taxi drivers, who announced that they would block the Mobile if their demands were not met. With a satisfactory agreement for them, which limits companies such as Uber and Cabify, now the concern is focused on the workers of the Barcelona subway, who have announced a strike during the congress to protest against the health problems posed by asbestos in convoys. .
"We are optimistic that the labor discussions will be resolved in a professional manner to guarantee a benefit for citizens and technology," said Hoffman. The Mobile World Congress forecasts some 107,000 attendees this year, like last year, and an economic impact of 473 million euros in its fourteenth edition in the city of Barcelona. The hall will carry the motto 'Intelligent connectivity' – intelligent connectivity – and plans to generate around 13,900 temporary jobs, in addition to 2,400 exhibitors, 170 government delegations and 200 countries and regions.