Malaysia is increasingly being selected as the choice destination for international meetings in Asia, which is firmly supported by its positioning as the gateway for global associations to connect with the world’s largest region.
Representing the many cultures of Asia in a safe and politically stable environment in the heart of South East Asia, Malaysia provides a compelling setting for the 8th Design & Health World Congress & Exhibition (WCDH) in 2012. The five-day congress to be held at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre will explore the latest research findings on the relationship between the built environment and human health, wellbeing and quality of life with a focus on the Asian, African and Middle Eastern emerging economies.
Organised by the International Academy for Design and Health (IADH) headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, the Congress is a first for Malaysia. It is expected to attract 1,000 delegates and generate an estimated RM11.2 million (USD3.5 million, EUR2.6 million, AUD3.6 million) in economic impact.
Led by the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition of Bureau (MyCEB), the competitive bid was supported by Malaysia’s Ministry of Health and Public Works Department (Jabatan Kerja Raya). The Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM), Public Health Physician Association of Malaysia and the International Islamic University Malaysia have also committed their support as event partners.
Announcing the country’s bid success, Deputy Health Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin said, “The selection of Malaysia as the destination for the congress was based on the government’s commitment to improve health of its people and the country’s health facilities. With much emphasis on transforming the people’s mindset to adopt healthy lifestyle habits and not just paying attention to physical health aspects, this is what the country needs to move forward and compete in the world stage in any fields.”
Professor Alan Dilani, Director-general, IADH said, “Asian countries such as Malaysia, which is targeting to become a developed nation by year 2020 has recognised that progressive societies aiming to achieve strong and sustainable economic growth must also be healthy societies. Growing awareness of the importance of health promotion and the need to invest in healthy and sustainable public, social, institutional and domestic infrastructure is placing the country at the forefront of opportunity and the leading edge of change.”
Mr Marc Sansom, Director of Corporate Development & Communications, IADH said, “Malaysia offers a gateway to South East Asia and China as economic and social power balance shifts east more rapidly. The country offers a cultural richness and diversity in a stable political climate, understandable structures of governance and an open market economy that creates a unique environment and experience for delegates and corporate partners.”
Mr Zulkefli Hj Sharif, Chief Executive Officer, MyCEB said, “Malaysia’s growing success in attracting international congresses can be attributed to our excellent value for money proposition, a testament to our accolade – ‘3rd Most Price Competitive Country in the World for Travel 2011’ by World Economic Forum. Malaysia offers incredible value for money when it comes to five-star experiences for a diverse range of quality venues, accommodation and services.
“This means Malaysia often attracts record attendance for international meetings held here. This includes the 18th World Congress of Accountants 2010 (6,000 delegates) and the 70th Institute of Internal Auditors International Conference 2011 with 2,200 delegates – which scored the highest attendance for a conference held outside the USA,” continued Mr Zulkefli.
With Malaysia’s blend of the vibrant cultures of Asia’s three major races: Malay, Chinese and Indian plus 47 ethnic groups, meeting planners and delegates can truly experience Asia in Malaysia. This diversity is reflected in its cuisines, art and heritage, traditions, lifestyle and year-end round festivals.
Ranked as the world’s top 10 friendliest destinations according to a HSBC survey (2011), Malaysia also boasts an English speaking yet multilingual nation. It was rated the fourth safest country in the Asia Pacific behind New Zealand, Japan and Australia by the Global Peace Index 2011.
For more information about the 8th Design & Health World Congress & Exhibition, please visit www.designandhealth.com