Reopen business events sector, SME group tells Government

THE Small and Medium Enterprises Association of Malaysia (SAMENTA) backed calls by the industry players for the Government to reopen the business events sector.

“We hope the Government will consider this seriously. Businesses need to work harder to secure lost ground.

“Please give us the right tools and channels to do so. The business event sector is not only important for small and medium enterprises (SME) in the sector but it can also create a multiplier effect to the economy,” said its chairman (Policy and Government Relations) Datuk William Ng.

Yesterday, The Edge reported the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) urging the Government to reopen the business events industry to the fully vaccinated.

MyCEB CEO Datuk Seri Abdul Khani Daud stated that the last few months have seen the business events industry turning “frontliners”, where around 20 purpose-built convention centres around the country serving as the nation’s as mega vaccination centres, including hundreds of business event volunteers helping millions of Malaysians to get their vaccine doses.

“Since the pandemic, Malaysia has recorded 57 postponements and 66 cancellations of international events.

“Despite the challenging times, MyCEB continues to work with the stakeholders in bidding for international events whereby 164 business events have been secured from 2022 to 2030,” Khani was reported saying.

Backing MyCEB, Ng said that the prolonged lockdown has resulted in most SMEs running out of cash, with many having laid-off their employees.

He added that operational restrictions had also resulted in many global clients resorting to dropping Malaysian suppliers, in favour of vendors from other markets.

“Many SMEs remain cautious despite the recent relaxation of restriction. While businesses in the retail, food and beverage, manufacturing, construction and tourism are now allowed to operate at various capacities, most SMEs are still struggling to re-open.

“For SMEs to rapidly get back into the global supply chain and secure raw materials and equipment, we need trade exhibitions and business conferences to reconvene.

“Internet sourcing is not as effective as physical trade shows, when it comes to sourcing for new clients and vendors,” Ng concluded. – Sept 25, 2021

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