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SME group supports the call for urgent reopening of business events sector

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Datuk William Ng

KUCHING (Sept 25): Small and Medium Enterprises Association of Malaysia (Samenta) supports the call for an urgent reopening of the business events sector, said its chairman Datuk William Ng.

He pointed out that the opening of the business events sector will help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns.

“Many SMEs remain cautious despite the recent relaxation of restrictions for the economic sector. While businesses in the retail, food and beverage, manufacturing, construction and tourism sector are now allowed to operate at various capacity, most SMEs are struggling to reopen.

“The prolonged lockdown has resulted in most SMEs running out of cash, with many having laid-off or retrenched their employees. Operational restriction has also resulted in many global clients resorting to dropping Malaysian suppliers in favour of vendors from other markets,” he said in a statement.

Ng’s statement was issued in response to Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS), Business Events Council of Malaysia (BECM) and the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) which have all called for a quick reopening of the business events sector.

Ng pointed out in order for local SMEs to rapidly get back into the global supply chain and secure raw materials and equipment, they need trade exhibitions and business conferences to reconvene.

“Internet sourcing is not as effective as physical trade-shows in sourcing for new clients and vendors.

“We hope the government will take this call seriously. We need to work harder to secure the lost ground. Please give us the right tools and channels to do so.

“The business event sector is not only important to the thousands of SMEs in that industry, but also as a catalyst and multiplier for the economy,” he said.

Yesterday, MyCEB – an agency under Tourism Malaysia – urged the government to reopen the fully vaccinated business events industry as soon as possible.

It had said business events activities brought a huge direct economic impact to the country while also contributing to content creation, exchange of ideas, professional development, investment opportunities, job creations and long-lasting legacy affect to the community.

As a testament, it revealed MyCEB had supported 2,600 events from 2010 to 2020, which translated to RM16.7 billion in estimated economic impact.

It also said the last few months have seen the business events industry rising to the occasion as “frontliners” whereby around 20 purpose-built convention centres around the country have served the nation as mega vaccination centres, including hundreds of business event volunteers helping millions of Malaysians to get their vaccine doses.

“Unfortunately, since the pandemic, Malaysia has recorded 57 postponements and 66 cancellations of international events,” it had said.









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