by HARIZAH KAMEL / pic by TMR FILE
THE Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) will temporarily halt its operations following the unprecedented impact of Covid-19 on the business events industry.
MITEC CEO Gunther Beissel said the decision was not made lightly, as they had done everything in their power to support a safe and sustainable reopening of the venue after the Movement Control Order (MCO) was lifted in July.
“From implementing robust health and safety measures at our venue to joining our industry in making a collective commitment to the business events safety protocols for organising events,” he said, referring to the efforts taken to restart its business.
He said MITEC is assessing its staffing needs based on future bookings and the local business environment, while continuing to monitor the situation and will react accordingly as market conditions improve.
“To this effect, MITEC is implementing a transition strategy, which includes the retrenchment of 90 employees.
“As part of our commitment to our clients, stakeholders and service providers, MITEC is ensuring the sustainability of the business by retaining a core team of nine employees,” said Beissel.
MITEC, which began operations in 2017, has secured 65% of its business for 2020 and due to the effects of the pandemic, has had its financial performance severely impacted.
The country’s largest trade and exhibition centre forecasted a significant financial loss for 2020 even after taking into account the various cost-reduction measures.
With the uncertainty of the Covid-19 situation, MITEC has decided to hibernate its operations from December 2020 to minimise the operating loss for the venue.
The Covid-19 pandemic — with current restricted movements, cancellation of business events and borders remaining closed to international travel — has drastically impacted the global economy including Malaysia.
To curb the spread of the virus, the government implemented the MCO on March 18 and enforced the Conditional MCO since Oct 14, which has put the entire business events industry to a complete halt.