Virtual business summit rises to current challenges

Teng (centre) conducting a live press conference after launching the Selangor International Business Summit 2020.

THE annual Selangor International Business Summit 2020 (SIBS) made history by moving the four-day programme online in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

SIBS 2020 was also the first state-led virtual platform set up to inspire new ways of doing business in times like these.

By going online, the summit was able to capture more target groups and offer borderless opportunities as it brought together global brands and industry players from around the world.

“For the past five years, SIBS has proven to be the most anticipated annual event of the state, where we welcome and host tens of thousands of industry leaders and captains of industries.

“This year, we are much obliged to scale down the summit due to the pandemic and adopt new ways of reaching out to our partners and stakeholders domestically and internationally.

“Although we are not able to meet face to face, the use of technology has enabled us to continue our engagement and communications with larger business communities and potential partners and stakeholders,” said Selangor investment, industry and commerce, and small medium enterprises committee chairman Datuk Teng Chang Khim after launching the virtual event.

The platform focused on three main components –- Selangor International Expo (SIE), Selangor Asean Business Conference, and Selangor Smart City and Digital Economy Convention.

SIE featured 300 exhibitors from 12 countries, including Indonesia, Taiwan, Japan, Spain, Singapore, Italy and Malaysia, who displayed their product videos and brochures in a digitally designed booth.

During the virtual summit, a host of activities were lined up, including webinars, live conferences, online networking, virtual expositions and business matching opportunities.

“Despite the challenges and less encouraging economic outlook, Selangor continues to take on the role of a regional economic powerhouse that contributes to more than 24% of Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) annually.

“In the last five years, Selangor has attracted some RM57.42bil worth of total investments through 1,222 manufacturing projects and created some 80,157 employment opportunities in the state.

“Even in the wake of the pandemic, Selangor recorded 122 manufacturing projects with a total capital investment of RM3.4bil in the first half of 2020,” he said.

Present at the virtual summit was Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari, who said digitalisation was the key in re-energising economic activities.

“During the ongoing movement control order, Selangor has taken several digitalisation initiatives which enable entrepreneurs and the general public to take on the new normal.

“Selangor has become the preferred destination for companies to invest and do business in the region.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is just another challenge that we will have to go through,” he added.

Amirudin urged all participants to make full use of the SIBS virtual platform as it would be available until October next year.

The platform will allow entrepreneurs to continue using the

resources after this year’s summit, which ended on Oct 17, until next October.

SIBS 2021 is scheduled to be held from Oct 7 to 10 next year at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

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