KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 — The Business Events Council Malaysia (BECM) has urged the government to consider reopening business events (BE) or meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) sector urgently, under strict adherence to the standard operating procedures (SOPs).
The council opined that there is no reason to keep the BE sector closed if the arts and creative industries, including cinemas, art galleries and museums, can be reopened in the final quarter of 2021.
In a statement today, acting chairman Datuk Vincent Lim said the BE sector contributed over RM27.5 billion to the country’s gross domestic product in 2019.
“Trade exhibitions and conferences are crucial for livelihoods and businesses as these events create jobs and generate millions in revenues for other industries such as tourism, hospitality, food and beverages and services such as transportation.
“The BE industry has been badly affected during over 18 months of restrictions. It is now time to reopen these doors to allow us to create the jobs and revenue that is crucial for this last quarter of the year,” he said.
Lim also stressed that BE professionals have always strictly abided by the regulations and are familiar with maintaining law and order in every exhibition, be it a small local exhibition or a significant marketplace for global delegates.
“With the national vaccination rollout now approaching 80 per cent and going strong, we cannot afford to sit back any longer, as BEs require a minimum of three months to plan, promote and execute.
“Reopening the sector now will give us the chance to catch up with the rest of the world in planning, and if we wait any longer, we will lose out to other global cities that are also bidding for a stake of the industry, such as Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia,” he said.
Lim added that the BE industry is a significant contributor to the Malaysian economy, therefore it should also be re-categorised as an economic activity under the National Recovery Plan.
The BECM represents nine trade associations from the exhibition, conference, meeting planners, events management, hotel, travel and tour, live events, retail as well as the food and beverage industries. — Bernama