KUCHING: Sarawak is embracing hybrid events, with conferences blending physical and virtual attendances and speeches, in its push for digitalisation to drive the economy, chief minister Abang Johari Openg said.
In light of the pandemic and its lasting impacts, it has become important for all sectors to welcome changes and adapt.
“The new world requires us to adopt methods that will increase productivity and efficiency, and create a conducive enabling environment,” he said in a speech at ‘Meet In Malaysia @ Sarawak’ forum here today.
“Hybrid events will enhance the event experience and engagement, allowing greater reach to disseminate knowledge and create new regional and cross-continental partnerships while supporting the state government’s efforts under the Post Covid Development Strategy 2030.”
Abang Johari encouraged attendees to bring their next business events to Sarawak, and said there were incentives available through Business Events Sarawak (BE Sarawak) under his government and the tourism, arts and culture ministry’s dedicated agency, MyCEB.
Speaking at the same event, the state’s tourism, arts, culture, youth and sports minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said Sarawak had been one the region’s most active hosts of business events over the last 15 years, adding that the state had no plans to let the pandemic hold it back.
“The Covid-19 pandemic never deterred our drive to grow. Instead, it fuelled our desire to become a stronger and more resilient destination by forging important collaborations, not just within the local industry but with the national and international business events industry.”
The Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) vice-president said that BE Sarawak, among other incentives, could provide additional funding of up to 50% of the approved event value as well as subsidise venue hire for interested organisers.
Over the course of 2021, Karim said the state had been able to secure deals to host 105 future events, which would generate an estimated RM332.1 million in total economic impact over the course of a combined 141,003 exhibition days, which he expects to create over 26,000 new jobs.
“I am looking forward to seeing more collaborations in the future to further develop the business events industry for Sarawak and for Malaysia,” Karim concluded.