Selangor Journal
State executive councillor for industy and trade Dato’ Teng Chang Khim (centre) visits the exhibitions featured at the Selangor International Business Summit (SIBS) 2021 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur, on November 20, 2021. — Picture by AHMAD ZAKKI JILAN/SELANGORKINI

SIBS 2022: Biggest business summit returns

By Nasuha Badrul Huzaini

DUBBED as one of the biggest international business summits in the region, the Selangor International Business Summit (SIBS) is making its return for the eighth consecutive year at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC), from October 6 to October 10.

The business summit has proven to withstand the test of time and was a success even during the Covid-19 pandemic, where it was organised virtually in 2020 and in hybrid mode last year.

Despite facing uncertainties on whether it was able to draw visitors amid the country’s strict rules on movement control, its 2020 and 2021 editions had recorded a laudable transaction value of RM1.09 million and RM217.6 million, respectively.

As the country moves towards the recovery phase of Covid-19, state executive councillor for investment, industry and trade Dato’ Teng Chang Khim shares with Selangor Journal how the Selangor administration, through Invest Selangor Bhd (Invest Selangor), is gearing up to bring back the much anticipated global business summit this year.

All in the numbers

Since it was first held in 2015, SIBS has seen encouraging participation, with the highest number of visitors registered in 2019 at 34,638.

Although the pandemic put a damper on the event in 2020, an impressive 25,410 visitors showed up the following year for the physical event.

With 30,000 visitors targeted for 2022, this year’s instalment, themed ‘Beyond Tomorrow’, aims to secure RM350 million in transaction value in four days.

State executive councillor for investment, industry and trade Dato’ Teng Chang Khim during an interview with Selangor Journal at his office at the Selangor State Secretariat Building, Shah Alam, on September 26, 2022. — Picture by HAFIZ OTHMAN/SELANGORKINI

Teng said the state government expects a considerable slice of the investments to come from the food and beverage sector under the Selangor International Expo, or SIE (F&B), and from the research and development sector under the Selangor Industrial Park Expo 2022 (SPARK 2022).

“SIBS was first held in 2015 and we have expanded from four components to six. The summit has seen an upward trend in terms of the number of visitors and transaction value, except when the world was hit by Covid-19.

“However, as we are entering the recovery phase, we are coming back stronger and have opened up the space to showcase 850 booths, which is the highest since we first hosted SIBS eight years ago.

“I am proud to say that SIBS 2022 will be occupying the entire event space and that 95 per cent of the booths have already been reserved.

“The positive response has secured SIBS’s position as Malaysia’s largest international business summit. What’s more, we want to continue to position the summit as a platform for Selangor to tap into the Asean market and vice versa,” he said when met at his office recently.

Right from the start, the summit had been planned as an annual event to provide networking opportunities for business leaders and industry players. It has aided in boosting the state’s economy by providing exhibitors with the chance to secure new deals and be updated by developing trends in their relevant sectors.

“In addition to that, SIBS also creates a platform for exhibitors to supply their products to international buyers and increase employment opportunities here,” Teng said.

He added that the underlying motivation for the state to hold the business summit on such a large scale is its intention to position Selangor as the economic powerhouse in the Asean region.

“We do not want to only compete with other states in Malaysia but to go against other cities in the Asean region.”

Stepping stone for SMEs

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the state’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs) were among the most affected groups and many are still struggling to restructure their business plans.

One of the biggest components of SIBS, the SIE (F&B), features high participation from the SME sector.

Exhibitors showcasing their products to the public at the Selangor International Expo (SIE) Food and Beverages (F&B) Supermarket Buyers Programme at Lulu Hypermarket at the Setia City Mall, Shah Alam, on May 31, 2022. — Picture by AHMAD ZAKKI JILAN/SELANGORKINI

Teng said SIBS 2022 is a good platform for entrepreneurs looking to recover their business operations and exhibit their products due to the large number of trade attendees, some of whom are purchasing departments of well-known domestic and international hypermarkets.

“Many of the buyers want to renew their buying activities and look out for new items and supplies. This could be because their previous suppliers had shut down due to the pandemic.

“Some 200 local and international trade buyers have already signed up for the SIE (F&B) 2022, in comparison to the 107 recorded last year,” he said.

Seven hypermarkets, including LuLu Hypermarket, have committed to attending the event.

“The hypermarkets’ purchasing teams will visit the SME booths at the summit to look into potential business collaborations,” he added.

Apart from industry players, the exhibitors will also get the opportunity to showcase their goods and services to potential customers as the summit is open to the public in the last two days (October 8 and 9).

“Many SMEs have migrated their traditional operations to digital marketplaces such as Shopee and Lazada.

“But they should not miss out on the opportunity to market their goods and services directly to consumers, which will help them increase their direct sales,” he said.

Wide range of industries

Similar to what was done in the previous edition, Teng said all the components for this year would be featured simultaneously.

The components are the eighth edition of the SIE for food and beverage and healthcare (F&B and Medic); the second edition of the Selangor Industrial Park Expo (SPARK); the sixth edition of the Selangor Asean Business Conference (SABC); the seventh edition of the Selangor Smart City and Digital Economy Convention (SDEC); and the third edition of the Selangor Research and Development and Innovation Expo (SRIE).

Teng said the SIE F&B, themed ‘Inspire F&B and Beyond’, offers 421 booths for local entrepreneurs to showcase their products.

“Among the exhibits will be fresh produce, cakes and pastries, healthy and organic foods and food technology ingredients.

“As for the SIE Medic, in addition to the participants in the biotechnology, cardiology, medical imaging, neurology and orthopaedic divisions, this year’s exhibitor profiles will also include dental clinics,” said Teng.

As for the SDEC, Teng said that its organiser, Selangor Information Technology and Digital Economy Corporation (Sidec), has invited 12 mayors, among them from South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Taiwan, to share their experiences and perspectives.

“They have agreed to present their paperwork at the event and most of the presidents of the local authorities will also be there to hear the talks, particularly those on smart cities.”

 

This article first appeared in the Selangor Journal monthly October edition, published on October 3, 2022.

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