The Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS) welcomes the news of the setting up the Special Cabinet Committee. With this, we strongly urge the Government to intervene in order to save the business events industry from going under.
Based on a survey by MACEOS which will be released soon, at least 32% 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.
As it is now, the pandemic is entering its third month since the COVID-19 outbreak started in February this year and by the fourth or fifth month, another 21% of the business events organiser and related companies will be wound up.
The industry is already facing up to RM1.5 billion in losses due to cancellation and postponement of business events.
In the worst-case scenario, the survey showed that only 12% of the companies in the Business Events sector will survive beyond six months.
If the current pandemic prolongs, how long do you foresee your business can support negative cash flow?
Under current circumstances, we would like to urge the Government to utilise the Tourism Tax fund to assist the Business Events sector.
At the same time, 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.
In our submission to Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) recently, we have outlined a number of areas that the Government should address:
- To cover 75% of workforce salaries and waive the employer’s EPF contribution for six months effective April 1;
- To subsidise exhibition venues in the event of postponement or cancellation in the Financial Year 2020;
- To provide a special grant through MyCEB, to support local SMEs to bid for more international events to be hosted in Malaysia;
- To incentivize professional accreditation certificates during this period;
- 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
- To establish an incubation program to assist homegrown trade exhibitions, conferences and lifestyle events.
Dato’ Vincent Lim
MACEOS President (2018-2020)