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By Ling Hui and Nancy Nais
KUCHING, Oct 22: Kuching officially becoming a member of the Hybrid City Alliance is an important development in the pursuit of turning this city into a premier business destination, particularly through digitalisation as it would form a supporting pillar to boost Sarawak’s economic recovery under Post-Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg emphasised that hybrid events are a key example of how Sarawak’s business events are proceeding with digital transformation, which was identified as an enabler to expedite economic growth, social inclusion and environmental sustainability in the State.
“The new world today requires us to adopt methods that will increase productivity and efficiency, and create a conducive enabling environment.
“While we accelerate our digital capabilities, there is still an emphasis on the importance of face to face meetings. Hybrid events will enhance the event experience and engagement, allowing greater reach to disseminate knowledge and create new regional and cross-continental partnerships while supporting the State government’s efforts under PCDS,” he said.
Abang Johari highlighted this when officiating at the “Meet in Malaysia @Sarawak” campaign by Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) and Business Events Sarawak (BESarawak) in conjunction with the launch of Kuching- Hybrid City Alliance at a hotel here today.
With the domestic borders opening and with this collaboration between the State and Federal industry, Abang Johari is confident that Malaysia’s recovery and transformation is more than possible through business events.
Earlier on, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah shared that Sarawak has secured 105 business events in 2021 worth approximately RM332.1 million in total economic impact, RM20 million in tax revenue and 26,352 in new job opportunities.
“The business of meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions is not a social activity. It is an economic sector that contributes to the economic transformation of Malaysia and the world.
“The tourism sector is an economic beneficiary and so are other sectors, such as manufacturing, education, technology and retail,” he said.
Encouraging planners to choose Sarawak to organise business events, Abdul Karim gave assurance that its Ministry will support them all the way through BESarawak with its own incentivised packages.
Agreeing on the importance of face-to-face meetings, Federal Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Dato Sri Nancy Shukri pointed out that Sarawak has been seen as an exclusive business events destination with unique attributes in Malaysia.
“I am pleased to see MyCEB collaborating well with the State government in bidding for international conferences.
“From 2010 until 2020, MyCEB has supported 86 events for Sarawak, bringing in over 40,000 delegates which have contributed RM457 million in estimated economic impact,” she said.
Under the Meet in Malaysia campaign launched on July 24, 2020, Nancy added that it has supported four events that will be held in Sarawak, which are expected to see 2,600 delegates and contribute RM26.9 million in estimated economic impact.
Meet in Malaysia campaign is MyCEB’s brainchild to captivate engagement with the national business events industry and powering its move to support recovery efforts.
MyCEB recently joined the Hybrid City Alliance – a partnership launched in December 2020 to offer solutions for national and international events taking place across multiple cities. Kuching, along with Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Kota Kinabalu, are positioned as the four knowledge capitals in the country for regional and international hybrid events. — DayakDaily