New alliance and investment to boost the Malaysian state’s event hosting capabilities.
Since the establishment of the Sarawak Convention Bureau (SCB) in 2006, Sarawak has brought in a total of 750 business events. Despite being a second-tier state, business events have accounted for more than RM645 million (US$155.4 million) in economic impact for the last decade, and RM34.6 million in direct delegate expenditure in 2018.
At the inaugural Business Events Tribal Meet (TriBE 2018) on 24 August, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports, Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, talked about the legacies business events leave during his welcome speech.
“Business events has contributed greatly to building our nation. The transfer of knowledge from experts to local champions, trade opportunities, and expansion of global alliance permeates many sectors, from medicine, education and technology to science and other advanced industries,” says Karim.
Chief operating officer of SCB, Amelia Roziman, echoes the phenomenon: “As Sarawak undergoes a digital economic transformation, the role of business events has become more critical than ever. Every conference, summit or exhibition has resulted in a rapid exchange of knowledge. This has left a legacy of powerful outcomes that facilitated the transformation.”
In recognising the value that business events bring, Sarawak Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Abang Zohari Tun Openg, revealed in a statement at TriBE 2018 that the state will invest RM1 million to upgrade its IT infrastructure and improve connectivity and accessibility.
“Embarking on this digital vision is not a trend, but a blueprint that will guide us forward. Business events continues to aid our vision in doing things differently,” says Abang Zohari.
TriBE 2018 also saw the launch of BESarawak Alliance, an initiative by SCB that aims to create collaborative opportunities between government ministries and agencies through business events. It hopes to act as an effective gateway to accelerate trade and investment, furthering Sarawak’s focus areas and multiply global networks.
Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Zohari called on all ministers, as well as their head of agencies, to be a member of this alliance to drive development.
“The future of Sarawak and the country needs to be built on alliances between the federal and state government and the private sector. Each of the member organisation’s unique strength will complement what others may be lacking in. Each segment will accelerate their growth, and in turn accelerate Sarawak’s and Malaysia’s growth. This will only be possible by working together,” says Abang Zohari.
SCB’s Roziman hopes that the BESarawak Alliance will inspire other second- and third-tier destinations within the region to strengthen their position in the meetings and incentive industry.
Held at Pullman Kuching in Sarawak, Malaysia, TriBE 2018 gathered approximately 300 business events professionals, convention ambassadors, sector partners and government officials for a day of knowledge exchange and networking sessions.
TriBE 2018 conference is Sarawak’s first home-grown business events conference and acts as a preview of what is to come for the upcoming international full-fledged conference, the TriBE Assembly, which will take place in 2020.