SIBS 2018 to help bridge links with Asean economies

By SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / Pic By BERNAMA

The Selangor International Business Summit (SIBS) 2018 will help raise trade and investment links with Asean countries, as well as other markets.

Selangor state government executive councillor Datuk Teng Chang Khim said this year’s SIBS, which starts from Sept 6 till Sept 16, 2018, has more participants from Asean member countries compared to last year.

“The summit, which comprises the 4th Selangor International Expo, received new Asean participants this year such as from Laos, Vietnam and the Philippines, while participation is expected to be more encouraging in the future.

“For last year’s exhibition, we had only Asean participants from Indonesia and Thailand,” he said at the closing ceremony of SIBS in Kuala Lumpur recently.

He said the strong support from foreign business councils in the country has allowed businesses from Malaysia’s non-Asean trading countries to set foot in Selangor through the annual exhibition.

“This year, we have an increased number of African countries as participants, as well as from several European countries.

“We are confident this exhibition can be further expanded next year,” he said.

Teng said the Selangor state government is planning to gain access to the South and East Asian markets for the upcoming edition of the exhibition, while enhancing the connectivity with its established European counterparts.

“So far, we have secured four countries from the African region among the total of 23 participant countries.

“We are looking into getting traders from China and India, and gaining access to these two big markets, which would be beneficial for our local traders and businesses,” he said.

SIBS 2018 is the second edition of the state government-backed conference and exhibition series, which comprises three main events — the Selangor International Expo 2018, the Selangor-Asean Business Conference 2018 and the Selangor Smart City and Digital Economy Convention 2018.

Organised by Invest Selangor and Mentri Besar Selangor Inc, the exhibition highlights the food and beverage (F&B) sector, while giving special attention to the halal market segment.

The conference features 60 speakers from across Asean and beyond, discussing topics such as the economic integration within Asean and halal entrepreneurship.

SIBS 2018 aims to rake in RM250 million worth of transactions from over 25,000 visitors, compared to the RM204 million generated in 2017.

“Last year, we received 22,701 visitors, generating RM204.2 million in transaction value, and that was a momentous milestone for us, not just for Selangor but for Malaysia.

“Our total number of booths has grown to more than 1,000 booths from 691 last year and we have substantially increased floor area to 11,000 sq m from 6,000 sq m in 2017.”

Ramly Food Marketing Sdn Bhd product development manager Sharifudin Mohd Sari, one the SIBS 2018 exhibitors, said the frozen and fast food company has been leveraging on the logistics, infrastructure and strategic warehouses in Selangor to grow its business.

“Selangor is strategically positioned, while having a booming industrial development. To businesses, it’s important for us to have a well-connected logistics chain and other established infrastructure amenities in order to reduce our operating cost and increase our revenue,” he said.

For Indonesia-based PT Bali Cahaya Amerta’s marketing manager, Putu Riska Widiartini, the exhibition has helped the Bali-based organic tea distributor enter the Malaysian market after successfully setting foot into Singapore earlier this year.

“We established our first branch outside Indonesia in Singapore earlier this year and plan to enter the market here to expand our footprint.

“Selangor would be our primary choice as the state allows foreign companies who are unfamiliar with the local market to test the water through exhibitions like the Selangor International Expo,” Putu Riska said.