A message from the FIDIC president and CEO on coronavirus (COVID-19)

17 Mar 2020

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A message from the FIDIC president and CEO on coronavirus (COVID-19)

On 16 March 2020, the FIDIC board held an extraordinary meeting via Zoom to discuss the ramifications of the growing coronavirus crisis and how FIDIC should respond in the light of the developing international events.

In responding to the current crisis, FIDIC will ensure that it communicates around three key priority areas affecting its member associations, their member firms and the organisation. 

  • That the safety of our industry’s people is paramount
  • The need to safeguard business continuity
  • Consideration of FIDIC’s commercial programme

After some discussion, the board has decided to postpone the FIDIC International Infrastructure Conference due to take place from 13-15 September 2020 and look to rearrange this around the same dates in 2021. However, the board has asked the secretariat to consider having some type of modified ‘remote online’ conference at the same time. We will be exploring the viability of the ‘online’ approach over the next few months and will keep you posted reading our findings.

The board is also recommending to FIDIC member associations that the statutory FIDIC General Assembly Meeting, currently scheduled for September 2020, should be held remotely using Zoom or some other appropriate online meeting platform. The board has made this decision and recommendation as it considers that the health and safety of FIDIC members and stakeholders to be of paramount importance. The board has also given strong consideration of the need to minimise the substantial financial risks FIDIC would be exposed to during these difficult times.

Unless we hear otherwise from a majority of FIDIC member associations by 10 April 2020, we will proceed with planning an online FIDIC GAM in September 2020.

The board also reviewed FIDIC’s current and future operations and activities and considered the ramifications of some and possibly all future events not taking place or being scaled back. The board expects that the forthcoming major regional FIDIC meetings in Europe, Africa and Asia will or may not take place and it is also clear that we will need to have discussions with FIDIC’s conference and meetings partners on what we do next in respect of FIDIC Contract Users Conferences organised with them. We expect to report back to member associations on the results of those discussions in the next two weeks.

We will write again to all member associations with more on the above, offering leadership and guidance to the industry. We will also introduce a regular business guideline update to MAs from the FIDIC CEO on the current crisis and update the industry more widely in articles on the FIDIC website and across all FIDIC social media platforms.

We will also use the international construction news media as well as our own social media and news channels to update the wider sector on what FIDIC is doing and how it is assisting members.

We will update our stakeholders further over the next few weeks. In the meantime, thank you for your continued support of FIDIC which is always appreciated and we wish you, your families and all your staff, well.

With best wishes 

Bill Howard, FIDIC President

Dr Nelson Ogunshakin OBE, FIDIC Chief Executive

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