LANGKAWI: More participation is expected from the Middle East in the next Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (Lima) exhibition in 2019.
EN Projects (M) Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Shaun Jacobson said in an interview that Middle-Eastern exhibitors and delegates will be roped in for Lima 2019 as the cooperation between Malaysia and the Middle East has grown stronger.
EN Projects is Lima 2017 organiser.
Speaking at the closing of Lima 2017 yesterday, Jacobson said: “The five-day Lima 2017 attracted over 180,000 visitors, compared to about 175,000 visitors in Lima 2015.”
He said he expects a 10% increase in crowd size next time.
Jacobson also spoke about two national aerobatic teams which met and decided spontaneously to perform an airshow together.
“The Indonesian and Korean teams delivered a stunning airshow that awed the visitors,” he said.
Jacobson said Lima has become more than just an air and maritime exhibition.
“It is also about national unity, drawing Malaysians of all races and religions,” he said, adding that one elderly man on a wheelchair came from Johor just for Lima 2017.
A group of German tourists was seen visiting the booths too.
Describing the airshow as “very, very good”, aircraft enthusiast Manfred Lederer, 70, said they were there on Friday from morning until evening.
“One day is not enough. In the morning, we went to watch the maritime section and from there, we came back here to catch the aerial display again,” he said yesterday.
Lederer said the group, comprising more than 10 aircraft enthusiasts, travelled to Langkawi specifically for Lima 2017.
“However, it was hard to access drinks, food and the washroom at the tarmac area. Even so, everything was incredible,” he said.
“This is the first Lima for all of us.
“We flew from Germany to Singapore and stayed a night there before arriving in Langkawi on Wednesday morning,” he said, adding that his wife and him had travelled many times to Malaysia, checking out places such as Penang, Pulau Perhentian, Pulau Redang, Pulau Tioman, Kuala Terengganu and Kuala Lumpur.
EN Projects chairman Senator (Rtd) Admiral Tan Sri Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor said the company was given only nine months to organise Lima 2017, compared to 24 months given to the previous organiser.
“In that short period, we promoted Lima 2017 successfully and managed to rope in 555 exhibitors from 36 countries, compared to 512 from 36 countries in Lima 2015,” he said.
The exhibition this year covered a space of 119,209sq m, an increase from the 104,209sq m in 2015.
The value of contracts and agreements signed this time also rose to about RM3.7bil, an increase of 81% from the RM2bil in Lima 2015.
There were 12 memorandums of understanding, 11 contracts, seven letters of agreement and five letters of intent signed.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has said that preparations for Lima 2019 will begin soon.
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