The Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS) has welcomed the news of the setting up the Special Cabinet Committee.
They have also urged the government to intervene in order to aid the business events industry.
Based on a survey by MACEOS which will be released soon, at least 32 percent of the small and medium scale enterprises in the industry will be forced to wind up if the pandemic goes beyond is extended up to four months.
This will have a multiplier effects on the country’s economy if intervention is still not forthcoming despite of two stimulus packages already announced recently.
According to MACEOS, by the fourth or fifth month of the pandemic, another 21 percent of the business events organiser and related companies is expected to wound up.
The industry is currently facing up to RM1.5 billion in losses due to cancellation and postponement of business events.
MACEOS is also urging the Putrajaya to utilise the Tourism Tax fund to assist the Business Events sector.
“Since Visit Malaysia Year has been deferred, the fund of well over RM 2 billion meant for Visit Malaysia Year 2020 should be re-allocated to save the industry,” said Vincent Lim, MACEOS President
In their submission to the Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) recently, the association have outlined a number of areas that the Government should address:
(1) To cover 75 percent of workforce salaries and waive the employer’s EPF contribution for six months effective April 1;
(2) To subsidise exhibition venues in the event of postponement or cancellation in the FinancialYear 2020;
(3) To provide a special grant through MyCEB, to support local SMEs to bid for more international events to be hosted in Malaysia;
(4) To incentivise professional accreditation certificates during this period;
(5) To provide an incentive of RM6,000 per Destination Management Company in order to stimulate more corporate events and encourage incentive groups travel to 2nd tier cities in Malaysia after the dust has settled; and
(6) To establish an incubation program to assist homegrown trade exhibitions, conferences and lifestyle events.
The committee will be co-chaired by two Senior Ministers: International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
The committee will be reporting its recommendations to the Prime Minister at the Economic Action Council (EAC) meeting on April 6.