Looking to explore opportunities in research, development and employment, new collaborations between Business Events Sarawak (BESarawak) and five public and private universities throughout Malaysia will offer exciting opportunities for national and international events.
BESarawak inks five Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP), Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), University of Technology Sarawak (UTS), Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus, and UCSI University Sarawak Campus in a collective effort to further strengthen the convention and exhibition business in Sarawak under the Business Events Sarawak Alliance (BESA).
BESA, a platform founded in 2018 by BESarawak, aims to further Sarawak’s social and economic development by creating collaborative opportunities between government and academic institutions through business events. BESA aligns partners with government agendas, in particular the Post Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030, to achieve economic prosperity, social inclusivity and environmental sustainability in the next seven years.
Under the MoU, the universities will gain access to facilities and resources for bidding, developing and hosting more high-impact academic business events; leverage data research to enhance Sarawak’s business events offerings and address the shortage of manpower in the industry.
Sarawak’s Deputy Minister for Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts, The Honourable Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew explains three key points from the newfound partnership. “Our partnership is with some of the best private and public universities in Malaysia to develop more conventions and exhibitions aligned with Sarawak’s PCDS 2030, create high-level legacy impacts—positive, long-term change—from these events and most of all, generate greater employment opportunities for future generations.”
On the subject of talent development, Datuk Sebastian further explains that “to attract the next generation of professionals, we need to make business events an attractive industry by offering more choices in study pathways. Currently, graduates are offered tourism, hospitality or event management courses as an entry to business events. However, the rise of business events in Sarawak and Malaysia justifies the need to introduce a university qualification focusing on this topic so that more graduates can have the opportunity to work in, and lead the industry in the future.”
Meanwhile, speaking on the significance of collaborations, BESarawak’s Chairman, Dato Sri Abang Haji Abdul Karim Bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg states that “Academia is an important community to us because it plays a big role in local and national growth. Collaboration plays a critical role in the business events industry’s development and forms the foundation of our business events campaign, Tribe Legacy Sarawak, through which we offer and deliver greater value to society and the economy via strategic collaborations.”
Sarawak is climbing the ranks as a globally competitive business events destination. This achievement is further emphasised by its selection to host the gold standard of water congresses, the International Water Association (IWA) World Water Congress & Exhibition 2028, announced on 16 September.
“BESA has evolved into a dynamic platform where stakeholders are exploring new collaborations among its members and achieving their return on objectives through such opportunities” expressed BESarawak’s CEO, Amelia Roziman. “This presents valuable options for universities and government institutions to connect and collaborate. We encourage more to consider joining BESA to develop and flourish their legacies.”
The universities were represented by:
- Prof. Ir. Dr. Hj. Ahmad Rashidy Razali (Rector, UiTM Penang Campus)
- Ir. Professor Lau Hieng Ho (Pro Vice-Chancellor and CEO, Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus)
- Madam Mukvinder Sandhu (Pro Vice-Chancellor, UCSI University Sarawak Campus)
- Prof. Datuk Dr. Khairuddin Ab. Hamid (Vice Chancellor, University of Technology Sarawak)
- Puan Shamsina Shaharun (Senior Director of Corporate Communication, Universiti Teknologi Petronas)
The MoU exchange ceremony was also attended by BESarawak’s Board of Directors:
- Datu Hii Chang Kee (Deputy Chairman, BESarawak)
- Mr. Lester Matthew (Director of Economic Planning Unit)
- Professor Jack Singh (Chief Scientist and Advisor of Sarawak Multimedia Authority)
- Associate Professor Dr. Hiram Ting (Associate Professor of Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Management, UCSI University Sarawak Campus)
- Mdm Audry Wan Ullok (President, Sarawak Tourism Federation)
Other partners integrated into BESA are:
- Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Sarawak
- Ministry of Food Industry, Commodity and Regional Development Sarawak
- Ministry of Women, Early Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development Sarawak
- Sarawak Multimedia Authority
- Sarawak Centre of Performance Excellence
- Centre of Technical Excellence
- Universiti Malaysia Perlis
- Universiti Putra Malaysia
BESarawak welcomes more universities from Malaysia and worldwide to collaborate with BESA and create additional value within their academic communities. To explore the opportunity, get in touch with Elynnie D. Jau (Government Liaison Manager) at [email protected].