KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 9 — Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (Mitec) opened its doors to the SEA Games yesterday, but in the long term it could be an economic cash cow.
Last year, the Malaysian MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) industry attracted 111,298 delegates to 153 events, generating RM1.03 billion in revenue.
By 2020, the business tourism is forecast to contribute RM3.9 billion to the Gross National Income and generate 16,700 jobs.
Costing RM628 million, Mitec houses nine mega exhibition halls, two medium— sized halls and a multi-purpose hall. It is the largest exhibition centre in Malaysia.
Its halls cover 45,348 sq m spanning three double volume floors. The venue includes conference rooms, media and press facilities, lounges, retail, food and beverage outlets.
It can accommodate up to 47,700 visitors in theatre-style seating and 28,300 guests in a banquet arrangement, and has 1,911 parking bays.
“This is the first building within the new RM20 billion mixed development KL metropolis in Persiaran Dutamas,” said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
“It’ll put Malaysia on the map with its state-of-the-art facilities and will be the hub for future conventions, meetings, exhibitions and functions.
“With the handing over of the building, the government will promote it as a venue of choice and encourage major national and international events to be held here.”
For the SEA Games, nine sports will be contested at the venue — fencing, rhythmic gymnastics, artistic gymnastics, boxing, indoor hockey, Muay Thai, table tennis, volleyball and weightlifting.
Naza Group executive chairman/chief executive officer SM Nasarudin SM Nasimuddin handed over Mitec to International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Sri Mustapa Mohamad yesterday.
Najib, accompanied by his wife Datin Sri Rosmah Mansor, witnessed the handing-over ceremony.
“Mitec is an expression on our love and support for Malaysia,” said Nasarudin.
“We faced many challenges to get this project off the ground but are extremely proud to say we managed to finish on time.
“This is the beginning of our continued support for sports and will usher a new era for the Naza Group.”