KUCHING: Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Hamzah has reminded the corporate and business sectors that the world is changing fast.
“And it is more obvious that business events now play a crucial role in addressing the world’s challenges to find a balance between people, profit, planet and purpose.
“It is also clear that destinations need to add more value on top of the knowledge, innovation and collaborations that come with business events,” he said in his welcoming speech at the Business Events Tribal Meet Tribe Assembly themed ‘Reimagine Our Future’ here yesterday.
He said just over a year ago, Sarawak’s business events sector embarked on a major assignment that now marks the state’s destination as an emerging point for serious thought leadership and innovation.
“The International Journal of Business Events and Legacies—in short, IJBEL – is the world’s first academic journal focusing on business events and legacies to strengthen Sarawak’s knowledge capacity and destination value through education and collaborations,” he added.
Karim said it is also the first journal on business events in Southeast Asia.
“With 44 editors and advisors from 15 countries conveying their knowledge and expertise through IJBEL, this publication is perfect for, but not limited to event practitioners, researchers, and students.
“IJBEL sends a powerful message about collaboration too. It is proving to be a valuable platform to open various collaborative opportunities.
“In June this year, we signed an MoU with the International Congress and Convention Association at IMEX Frankfurt, Germany, to make them a strategic international association partner. Another collaboration is taking place so stay alert for that update,” he said.
Karim added that IJBEL is helping the Sarawak government achieve a few of the Post COVID-19 Development Strategy 2030 strategic thrusts, by targeting specific economic sectors and enablers such as under the PCDS enabler of education & human capital, IJBEL is helping to optimise Sarawak’s human capital and produce an agile workforce that can excel globally.
He said this also includes promoting entrepreneurship; second is the PCDS enabler of Innovation, where the journal is
leveraging research and commercialisation to drive global innovation; and third is the PCDS enabler of sustainable development, where research is used to make economic activities more environmentally friendly that can achieve global recognition.
“In addition to PCDS, IJBEL is also achieving number 4 of the U-N Sustainable Development Goal: Quality Education and number 17: Partnership for the Goals.
“Many congratulations to Business Events Sarawak, the International Congress and Convention Association, Curtin University Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Mara and Sarawak Research Society for the publishing and launching of IJBEL.
“IJBEL is a legacy of its own which leads me to the next note. I stress that business events are important. And what adds more value to Sarawak is to leverage the legacy impact that conventions, meetings and other knowledge events bring to the table,” he said.
Another added value, he said, is being a sustainable destination – which is what the state is putting equal focus on.
“It is no secret that events do produce different forms of negative environmental impact. But, events do not have to result in being environmentally harmful,” he said.
He said choosing to be more sustainable would not only reduce harmful environmental impacts but keep ethics and values at the forefront of the event strategy.
“Events that lead in sustainability do so with environmental, economic and social values at its core,” he said.
Abdul Karim added that since PCDS 2030 aims for economic prosperity, social inclusion and environmental sustainability—and the business events industry is on the same path— the ministry pledged to commit to legacy impact and sustainability to drive its business events forward.
“We will provide as many resources as possible to help your events be more impactful to the community and greener for the environment,” he said.
Meanwhile, during the 3rd Business Events Tribal Meet (best known as TriBE Assembly), Sarawak revealed that the destination would attempt to secure 1,245 business events by 2030 by developing further measures that would make legacy impact and sustainability at the forefront of the sector.
Legacy impact and sustainability were the main topics of TriBE Assembly, further pushing the message that Sarawak is serious about motivating the sector to think beyond the economic returns of events.
It is also reaffirming that sustainable and legacy-driven events will be the pulling factor for national and international planners, setting Sarawak apart from other destinations.
The outcome of yesterday’s assembly was a proposal to the Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Sarawak containing the long-term strategic plan with a set of actions to assist in achieving the state government’s PCDS 2030 and turn Sarawak into a leading destination for ecotourism and business events.
The proposal was also making one strong suggestion – for the government to strengthen its collaboration with the sector to develop practical and ethical policies and guidelines that will steer future business events to be more impactful and sustainable to the destination.
“Since business events are part of PCDS 2030, sustainable and
legacy-driven events will be key events to achieve our aspiration of economic prosperity, social inclusion and environmental sustainability. The Ministry and I pledge to drive positive
community, economic and environmental developments from business events and lead the 300 delegates from TriBE Assembly as Sarawak’s business events ambassadors,” said BESarawak CEO Amelia Rozaman in her speech earlier.
She said one way to communicate the sector’s impacts and efforts were by using IJBEL as a communication platform with the journal as the world’s first to merge business events and legacy topics in one title and the first in Southeast Asia on all business events.
“The first volume of the journal was officially launched in the first issue provides excellent insights and knowledge into how global business event players are evolving and what impacts have been found until now,” said Amelia.
She added that 11 papers had been published and half were reporting on the legacies and sustainability efforts that their respective events and destination had started.
“Half is Sarawak’s new value proposition is expected to lure and secure 1,245 business events by 2030.
“So far in 2022, the state has surpassed its target of 90 secured events with 94 events (104 per cent achievement) with an estimated total economic impact of RM303 million; RM165 million from direct delegate expenditure, RM9.9 million tax revenue and 23,755 jobs for Sarawak,” she said.
Amelia added that 94,81 business events had been assessed with a total of 570 impacts on the sector, economy, community, environment and political governance.
She said these events are eligible to enrol on the BESLegacy Initiative.