Selangor prepares to unleash potential

SIBS 2018 moves to attract strong Asean participation as state govt pushes ahead to turn Selangor into a global trading hub

By HABHAJAN SINGH / Pic By ISMAIL CHE RUS

The Selangor International Business Summit (SIBS) 2018, making a comeback for the second year running next month, is believed to be one of the larger regional platforms for the private sector in South-East Asia.

In fact, SIBS 2018’s proponents believe that it could be the only platform connecting the regional businesses on a larger scale, following the establishment of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.

“This is probably the only platform so far, created after the incorporation of AEC, to address issues of opportunities and challenges faced in the Asean market,” Selangor senior executive councillor Datuk Teng Chang Khim told The Malaysian Reserve.

He said the business community will be able to connect and exchange views on what is happening on the ground post-AEC.

“It is important for investors outside Asean as it allows them to understand what is happening in this region,” he said.

AEC is a major milestone in the economic integration agenda in Asean, the regional grouping of 10 South-East Asian countries.

Asean offers opportunities in the form of a huge market of US$2.6 trillion (RM10.58 trillion) and over 622 million people.

The AEC Blueprint 2025, adopted by the Asean leaders at the 27th Asean Summit on Nov 22, 2015, in Kuala Lumpur, provides broad directions through strategic measures for AEC from 2016 to 2025.

It aims towards achieving the vision of having an AEC by 2025 that is highly integrated and cohesive; competitive, innovative and dynamic; with enhanced connectivity and sectoral cooperation; and a more resilient, inclusive, and people-oriented, people-centred community, integrated with the global economy, according to information at its website.

Teng said the state’s ultimate objective is to turn Selangor into an international trading hub.

“We need a lot of content. We need to build our profile so that people will realise our potential. We need to unleash our potential to become a global trading hub,” he said.

The summit puts together three key events: Selangor International Expo 2018 (Sept 6-9), Selangor-Asean Business Conference 2018 (Sept 6-7), and Selangor Smart City and Digital Economy Convention 2018 (Sept 13-15).

Back for its fourth edition, the expo will feature the food and beverage (F&B) industry players from Asean. Among others, participants can join the business matching and hosted buyer programmes to connect with top F&B brands within the region.

The business conference aims to offer a holistic conference experience by tackling current issues and opportunities that impact the business landscape in Asean.

It will also feature panel discussions to analyse market insights and trends, with the primary aim of driving sustainable economic growth within AEC.

The Selangor Smart City and Digital Economy Convention 2018 is a three-day comprehensive event with a conference and expo component.

“We have a good mix of events. The conference, for example, is an excellent venue for the business community from Asean and beyond to exchange views,” said Teng.

Besides acting as a platform for the trade industry players to expand their businesses across Asean, Teng said the summit will also serve as a bigger purpose of bringing the countries in Asean together, to work in unison and compete on the global stage as one solid unit.

Teng said the event is the largest ever by any state government in Malaysia.

It is organised by Invest Selangor Bhd, a one-stop state agency that pro- vides information, advisory services, as well as start-up or expansion assistance to potential and existing investors.

For more than 17 years, Invest Selangor has attracted more than 4,900 manufacturing projects to the state, resulting in the creation of 377,287 jobs and more than RM138.6 billion worth of investments, according to information at its website.

The events will be held at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Kuala Lumpur accordingly.