Sarawak’s business events performance in the fiscal year of 2022 (FY2022) was nothing short of remarkable as the destination’s industry led by Business Events Sarawak (BESarawak) surpassed targets on both economic and legacy impact returns. This was announced at BESarawak’s 17th Annual General Meeting on 28 June 2023.

In FY2022, the State Convention Fund was revised to the Sarawak Business Events Fund to accommodate all types of business events, enabling Sarawak to secure 100 business events with a projected total economic impact of RM325.3 million, including a direct delegate expenditure of RM177.3 million and tax revenue of RM19.6 million. Ensuring that local communities benefit from these events, an additional 25,896 jobs are expected to arise. The secured events target exceeded 111 per cent, while other economic returns exceeded 196 per cent.

With face-to-face meetings in full swing, Sarawak hosted 100 business events in the same year, fetching RM230.3 million in total economic impact. Direct delegate expenditures injected another RM125.1 million into the economy, while 18,275 short and long-term jobs were created within the last 12 months.

Sarawak also achieved remarkable success in international bidding, securing 100 per cent victory in all bids with a projected total economic impact of RM179.4 million and over 14,000 job opportunities on the horizon – making FY2022 the most successful bidding year in the last two years.

FY2022 marked the business events industry’s third year executing the Post Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030. One of the industry’s objectives is to align with the PCDS 2030 by focusing on securing sustainable, legacy-driven business events from the six priority economic sectors (manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, forestry, mining and services) and seven enabler sectors (digital transformation, innovation, education & human capital, basic infrastructure, utilities, transport and renewable energy).

“We stayed on track in securing events of key interests aligned with the Sarawak Government’s objectives of stimulating economic and social growth, while growing our core business, optimising costs and opportunities and strengthening Sarawak’s stakeholder collaborations and talent pool to boost industry competence,” stated BESarawak’s Chairman, Dato Sri Abang Haji Abdul Karim bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg. “Through business events, Sarawak is laying the foundation for sustainable development to leave a transformative impact on local communities for years to come.”

Sarawak is becoming widely recognised worldwide as a legacy impact destination where business events are optimised to impact society positively. For secured events in FY2022, the legacy performance recorded an 82 per cent success rate with 91 out of 100 secured events planning to drive benefits to sectors, trade and investment, communities, the environment and governance. Four hundred eighty-five impacts were identified with the highest on the Services, Tourism, Agriculture,  Education & Human Capital, Innovation and Digital Transformation sectors.

Meanwhile, for hosted events, all 100 business events were marked as legacy driven, achieving a 100 per cent success rate. A total of 553 impacts were recorded, with the highest also on the Services, Tourism, Agriculture,  Education & Human Capital, Innovation and Digital Transformation sectors.

“The Tribe Legacy Sarawak campaign contributed to much of Sarawak’s success in the year, expressed Amelia Roziman, BESarawak’s CEO. “Our central narrative has been unlocking value and accelerating growth by evaluating meetings based on their ability to generate revenue and do good for the world. Sarawak is among the few to dive into legacy impact as a value proposition. It is proving to help us succeed in securing events that will contribute back to the economy and society.”

The campaign, which is centred around value creation and collaborations, also helped score other notable achievements, including Sarawak winning three international film awards for its business events short films, the launch of the International Journal of Business Events and Legacies, 67 industry partners obtaining international event certifications and three Memoranda of Understanding to position Sarawak as a legacy impact destination.

Between 2006 and 2022, Sarawak hosted 1,082 business events with a total economic impact of RM3.23 billion providing more than 258,000 job opportunities to the local communities.