Wednesday, July 5, 2017

KEYNOTES ADRESS - MALAYSIA GIFTS FAIR 2017


Bismillahirrahmanirrahim

Assalamulaikum w.b.t

Salam sejahtera, Salam 1 Malaysia, and Good Morning to our gracious host,

Mr. Alan Ong Yeow Fooi KMW, President of Malaysian Gifts & Premium Association (MGPA),

Distinguished Guests,

Members of the Media,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure and opportune privilege to be part of this momentous event, and to share this auspicious moment with you in officiating the opening of the Malaysia Gifts Fair 2017. 

First of all, I would like to congratulate and applaud the organisers, the Malaysian Gifts and Premium Association (MGPA) for their continued success and unrelenting hard work year after year, in organising this event annually since 2009. 

I was told by the organisers, that the theme for the Malaysia Gifts Fair 2017 is “The City of Gifts” to reflect the event as one that is significant in magnitude and altitude. I agree.

And to that, I must say, Malaysia Gifts Fair 2017 is not merely an exhibition. It is a port of call, being undeniably a key destination that showcases an elaborate and diverse display of innovative gift ideas from different countries and cultures around the globe. 

From their humble beginnings in 2009, when they had only 230 booths taken up by exhibitors from only three countries, namely Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore, this exhibition has over the last eight years, grown by leaps and bounds. Today, it has become ASEAN’s largest Gifts & Premium Fair.

After eight successful years being known as the Kuala Lumpur International Gifts, Premiums and Stationery Fair (KLIGP), they are now rebranded as Malaysia Gifts Fair. On that note, my compliments on the progressive rebranding. Well done!

Ladies and gentlemen

Last year, exhibitors from Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, as well as the United States took part in the fair. I understand that this year, the organisers are expecting exhibitors to take up a total of 420 booths, or almost 100 per cent more than 2009. We are also expecting some 12,000 visitors to the three-day event. 

The growth achieved by the exhibition is indeed nothing short of phenomenal. This remarkable growth is reflective of the robust development in the local gifts and premiums industry.

More importantly, this event has now become not only one of the largest gifts and premium fairs in Malaysia but also the largest gifts and premium fair in the ASEAN region, putting Malaysia on the world map of gifts and premiums industry and making Malaysia one of the major gifts and premiums destinations in the region.

With its proven track record over eight years, the Malaysia Gifts Fair 2017 sets the perfect stage for the exhibitors to strategically showcase their products to tens of thousands of visitors, to gain ample business opportunities and to expand their network of business connections.

Ladies and gentlemen

The future of the Malaysian gifts and premiums industry, estimated to value of over RM1 billion, is very promising, thanks to our high quality products and strong follow-up services. Exports of lifestyle products, or soft exports, which include gift and premium, had been gaining momentum in recent years.

Soft exports including gifts and premiums rose by 2.0 per cent to RM37.65 billion in 2016 from RM 36.91 billion in the previous year. Exports of gifts and premiums posted the second highest growth at 4.4 per cent, valued at RM 5.79 billion. Gifts and premiums were exported mainly to Singapore, Japan, USA, Thailand and Hong Kong.

Ladies and gentlemen

Malaysia boasts a big pool of very talented lifestyle entrepreneurs, and this includes gifts and premiums entrepreneurs who are capable of moving into the international stage. 

Towards this end, the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), which is one of the agencies under the purview of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) is aggressively helping and supporting these entrepreneurs to promote their products globally. 

MATRADE conducts various programmes for our local entrepreneurs, such as seminars, workshops, and handholding, and ‘going export’ programmes for our exporters. Gifts and premiums entrepreneurs should take full advantage of these programmes for the benefit of their businesses. Entrepreneurs should also take part in MATRADE’s online programme called eTrade programme to promote and sell their products abroad. To date, a total of 1,015 SMEs have joined the programme, of which 13 were from gifts, premium and jewellery sector.

Ladies and gentlemen

In the domestic front, the estimated tourist arrivals of 31.8 million to Malaysia in 2017 will definitely offer huge prospects and immense opportunities to the gifts and premiums sector, to expand their business scopes and horizons. 

Gifts and premiums manufacturers and marketers can also take full advantage of the national sales campaign organised three times a year by Tourism Malaysia. This is the right opportunity to boost their sales and promote local gifts and premium items brands to the growing number of local and foreign tourists.

Huge market potentials are awaiting to be tapped by Malaysian gifts and premium items manufacturers. For example, the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 has offered a combined market of 600 million population. 

Meanwhile, as an active participant and a key transit point for the One Belt One Road campaign advocated by China, Malaysia stands to gain from the immense opportunities arising from the combined market of One Belt One Road which covers over 60 countries with a total population of 4.4 billion, or 45% of the world’s population, and a combined GDP of over USD3 trillion.

Ladies and gentlemen

It is important for local gifts and premiums manufacturers to look beyond the Malaysian shores and venture into the ASEAN single market created by the ASEAN Economic Community and One Belt One Road market as well as other regional collaborative setups to further grow the industry.

With this, I am pleased to declare that the Malaysian Gifts Fair 2017 is officially open. 
Thank you.

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