The Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) has secured its first congress bid win in the form of hosting rights to the World Seafood Congress (WSC) 2019. The win is also a triumph for Asia, as the congress will head to this region for the first time.
The decision was announced by Carey Bonnell, president of the International Association of Fish Inspectors (IAFI) during WSC 2017 in Reykjavik, Iceland.
The bid from Penang was presented by a delegation led by PCEB and joined by various high-profile state leaders.
The World Seafood Congress was initiated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and United Nations Industrial Development Organization, and is owned by the IAFI. Each conference is organised by a selected institute in the host country, and is considered a platform for the exchange of information, ideas, and methodologies for the seafood sector, as well as on inspection, quality management, and seafood processing technology.
Chief minister of Penang, Lim Guan Eng (centre) shares jubilant news with stakeholders
Lim Guan Eng, chief minister of Penang, said: â€śIt is of great honour to us that the first World Seafood Congress in Asia will be held here. We get to create a legacy for the larger fishery and aquaculture industry in Asia.
“Congresses like this are as important to the host destination as well the delegates. We get to discover and learn from the experts regarding the sector and what we can do to improve it.
“In 2016, Penangâ€™s fishery sector recorded a revenue of RM1.3 billion (US$300 million) and we believe this congress will make an impact on the numbers and bring more awareness and innovation to our fishery industry and to expose the world standards and practices to our local policymakers.”
Ashwin Gunasekeran, CEO of PCEB, added that the wealth of knowledge and expertise shared through the congress would also benefit fishery industry players in the greater Asian region.
“We hope that the World Seafood Congress coming to Penang will help to pave the way for other Asian hosts in the future,â€ť said Ashwin.
Ooi Kee Beng, executive director of Penang Institute, who was involved in the bid presentation, commented: â€śThe team was very well prepared in presenting Penangâ€™s case, and in showing all the advantages it has to offer the Congress. As the first Asian host for this premium congress series, and given how important nourishment from the sea is to less developed countries, Penang can now represent the region in this very important industry and has a good opportunity to partake more directly of the productive ecosystem surrounding it.
“As the local host, Penang Institute will draw on its national and regional connections to prepare for a congress worthy of Asiaâ€™s new position in the global economy.”
The WSC 2019 will take place in September at the Setia SPICE Convention Centre. Penang Institute is the local organising host for WSC 2019. The congress is supported by the Penang State Government, PCEB and Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau.