SPEECH BY CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG
AT THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE BE @ PENANG 2017
7th December 2017
Setia SPICE Convention Centre, Penang
Welcome back to the second edition of the Business Events conference in Penang – or as we call it, BE @ Penang.
BE @ Penang is just one of the Penang State Government’s many initiatives to drive the state as a leading hub for commerce, tourism, and development. Through state business events arm - the Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau or PCEB – we have seen major developments in the business events industry in Penang.
Ladies and gentlemen,
PCEB’s efforts over the past two years has helped to position Penang as the top destination city for Business Events in Malaysia, only behind Kuala Lumpur.
2017 has been an exciting year so far for Penang. Team Penang secured the bid for World Seafood Congress 2019, making Penang the first Asian city to host this 50-over year-old congress!
PCEB itself has been shining bright despite being only two-years old. Just this October, PCEB won the prestigious rAWr Awards for Destination Marketing Organisation.
G Hotel Gurney also won a rAWr Award, winning the highly coveted Hotel with Meetings Facilities Award for Excellence.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We are now gathered within a world-class and green-certified RM 350million convention centre. In 2017 itself, with the effort of PCEB and its industry partners, Penang has hosted a total of 1,731 events, with 202,335 participants. This year, we hosted the largest event in the history of Penang with a delegate size of 18,000 here at Setia Spice Convention Centre.
With 9 new hotels in the pipeline for 2019 and the Penang Waterfront Convention Centre in 2021, Penang is within reach of hosting larger, more impactful and knowledgeable events.
Penang is fast rising as a key second tier destination in the region, and with a unified business events industry, Penang as a state would stand to benefit from the economic impact of business events. Last year, Penang has recorded 1251 events with an estimated economic impact of RM808 million.
From January to September 2017, we have hosted 1731 events with an estimated economic impact of RM900 million.
This translates to a 27.7% increase in the number of events and 7% increase for the estimated economic impact. We are confident of breaking RM 1 billion this year.
PCEB might be the one who is heading this initiative, but it is Team Penang that is able to bring this plan to greater heights.
Thank you once again for participating in this conference and contributing to the strength and sustainability of the Business Events industry for Penang.
Dear delegates of BE @ Penang 2017,
I urge you to BE EMPOWERED over the next two days. You have in your presence some of the best professionals and experts in the global Business Events arena, and I wish you the best in gaining knowledge to spur your growth.
Keynote Speaker Roy Sheppard, a specialist international conference facilitator, moderator and speaker is going to speak on Empowering the Penang Business Events Industry to Act Independently, yet Collectively.
Let us strive together with the same purpose and mindset to make Penang a Business Events destination no organiser can resist.