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Sabah all for business events: Liew
Published on: Friday, March 01, 2024
By: Larry Ralon
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Sabah all for business events: Liew
Liew said the Sabah Convention Bureau under her Ministry has been allocated RM5 million this year to provide assistance and support to organisations and associations in organising Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events (MICE) in the State.
Kota Kinabalu: Sabah is unwaveringly committed to supporting business events that are poised to draw business owners, exhibitors, potential investors and tourists, said Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew. 

Through strategic partnerships and proactive initiatives, she said her Ministry along with the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) aim to position Sabah as a premier destination for business, leisure and investment.

“This concerted effort seamlessly aligns with our vision under the Hala Tuju Sabah Maju Jaya (SMJ) development plan, where economic growth is more than just a goal, it is a shared commitment.

“By capitalising on the opportunities presented by business events, we can boost Sabah’s economic advancement by generating employment, nurturing innovation and elevating the quality of life for all Sabahans,” she said when launching the Be In Sabah Business Events Forum – Gathering of the International Business Events Communities – at Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) here Thursday.

Her speech was read by the Ministry’s Deputy Permanent Secretary II Alesia Sion.

Liew said the Sabah Convention Bureau under her Ministry has been allocated RM5 million this year to provide assistance and support to organisations and associations in organising Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events (MICE) in the State.

“This initiative aims to attract potential business events delegations, not only enhancing Sabah’s reputation in the leisure market among tourists but also expanding its presence in the business events segment,” she said, adding the establishment of the convention bureau is a game-changer.

She said the bureau signifies a strategic approach to elevate Sabah as a premier business event destination in Malaysia and the Asia Pacific region.

“With meticulous planning, innovative ideas and a commitment to excellence, we can attract conferences, trade shows and corporate gatherings that will not only boost our economy but also enrich our cultural fabric.

“Business events are more than just dates on a calendar.

They are catalysts for socioeconomic growth. When we host a conference, we create jobs, stimulate local businesses and foster knowledge exchange.

Our impact extends beyond tourism — it influences education, technology, and even policy-making. Let us embrace this holistic view and recognise that every delegate who walks through our doors contributes to the larger tapestry of progress,” she said.

She also disclosed that the State Government will breathe new life into iconic events such as the Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon and Sabah Fest this year, as part of the preparations for Visit Malaysia Year 2026. 

The two-day be in SABAH forum is jointly organised by the Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS) Sabah Chapter and SICC, with support from the State Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry and the Federal Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry, in strategic partnership with MACEOS, Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), and STB.

Thrilled to witness the convergence of minds and expertise in the forum, Liew said their agenda is ambitious, yet promising. 

“As we delve into unlocking the key to business events, drawing insights from diverse regions across the globe, we aim to evolve business events by exploring the future landscape, with a particular focus on the trajectory of Sabah.

“We are here to chart new horizons, navigate through challenges, and embrace the prospects that lie ahead. Sabah’s future is bright, and we are committed to positioning ourselves as a beacon of innovation and excellence in business events.

“Our aspirations extend beyond mere aspirations on paper. We are dedicated to crafting a destination competitiveness strategy that will propel Sabah to the forefront of the Asia Pacific region as a leading business event destination.

As we absorb the energy of this forum, let us remember that our actions must extend beyond our boardrooms. We have a responsibility to uplift our local community, to empower small businesses, and to foster sustainable growth.

By being proactive, we can create a ripple effect that reaches far beyond our immediate circles,” she said.

Liew said the fact that Sabah is hosting this forum at an international scale speaks volumes about its ambition.

“Sabah is no longer content with being a hidden gem; we are stepping onto the world stage. Our local industry leaders have come together, recognising that collaboration knows no boundaries.

Together, we can amplify our impact and showcase Sabah’s unique offerings to the world.

“Let us leverage the collective wisdom and experiences gathered here to shape the future of business events not just in Sabah but across the globe,” she said.

She urged all the participants to actively participate, share their insights and engage in meaningful dialogue.

“Together, we can unlock the full potential of business events and pave the way for a prosperous future,” she said, commending the Maceos Sabah Chapter and SICC for the hard work and effort into organising the forum.

Maceos President Francis Teo and Maceos Sabah Chair and SICC Chief Executive Officer Datuk Dr Hajah Rosmawati Haji Lasuki, who is also the organising chairperson of  Be In Sabah and Yayasan Sabah Board of Urustees Secretary cum Corporate Secretary Hanafiah Diman, who represented the Yayasan Sabah Director, were also present. 

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