Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said several programmes had been put in place to attract incentive and business groups to Malaysia as part of a bigger economic agenda in becoming Asia's Business Events Hub.
He said business events had also been included in the progressive Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), which was to grow the business tourism arrivals to 8% of total tourist arrivals.
Najib said this was an increase from 1.2 million arrivals to 2.9 million by year 2020.
"With the participation of more than 5,000 delegates, we trust that the International Dragon Award (IDA 2013) will contribute positively towards our mission, thus strengthening Malaysia's role as a leading business event destination within the region," he said when officiating IDA 2013 Annual Meeting cum the 17th Malaysia Chinese Life Insurance Congress here on Thursday.
The three-day annual meeting saw participants from 16 countries including China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Australia.
Present were Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib and Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) Chief Executive Officer Zulkefli Sharif.
Najib said the MyCEB was set up and tasked to attract the business segment to Malaysia.
He said in 2010, the number of business tourists was 5% of the total tourist arrivals.
"By 2020, we hope this figure would grow to 8 percent. Malaysia is ranked 29th in the world for association meetings and 7th in the Asia Pacific, while Kuala Lumpur is ranked 5th, according to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) rankings."
He said Malaysia is increasingly becoming well-known as a business destination offering great experiences to visitors.