Sarawak announces new research journal and upcoming expo

BESarawak has announced two major updates for Malaysia’s MICE industry: the publication of its most recent business events research journal, and an upcoming international arts and handicrafts exhibition.


BESarawak announced the publication of the first issue and volume of the International Journal of Business Events and Legacies, known as IJBEL, at a press conference on 1 November.

IJBEL is a journal specific to business events and the legacies that such events leave behind. According to Sarawak, its core objective is to address issues via case studies, research and viewpoints on topics such as event planning and delivery.

It also covers strategies adopted by interconnected sectors such as hospitality, tourism, and economics.

Issue 1, Volume 1 of IJBEL contains six academic papers, four industry papers, and one special note on trending topics such as the effectiveness of hybrid events; managing sustainable events in an urban destination; hosting business events in times of crisis; optimising e-Tourism and e-Marketplaces for business events, and legacy approaches.

Speaking on IJBEL’s value to Sarawak at the press conference, Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahmah Hamzah expressed that the journal is an “important piece of literature for Sarawak.”

“It is helping the Sarawak Government achieve a few of the post-Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030 strategic thrusts by targeting specific economic sectors and enablers.”

IJBEL is a joint effort between BESarawak and the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) to raise collaborations within the international industry.

Senthil Gopinath, ICCA’s CEO, added: “ICCA believes our collaboration with IJBEL is substantial especially in this new business events environment, giving additional and optional platforms in knowledge sharing.”

Press conference


Kuching, Sarawak will host ASIACRAFT 2023 – an international art, handicrafts, and culture exhibition and conference. The event will take place from 12 to 14 September 2023 at the Borneo Convention Centre, Sarawak.

This was announced on 2 November at the ‘Soft Launch Ceremony’ and press conference by The Honourable Datuk Snowdan Lawan, deputy minister of creative industry and performing arts.

According to the event, ASIACRAFT 2023 Expo and Conference is expected to attract over 230 exhibitors and 5,000 trade buyers. The goal of the show is to highlight Sarawak’s heritage of traditional crafts, arts, and housewares, and to promote its products in the international markets.

Market research firm has stated that the global handicrafts market size reached US $680b in 2021, and it expects the market to grow by 10.4% (US $1,252b) by 2027. It is hoped that the Expo will help Sarawak, and Malaysia as a whole, expand its market.

AMB Tarsus Events Group, the event organiser, aims to position ASIACRAFT Expo as an annual B2B event showcasing sellers and buyers from international stores, importers, distributors, and retail outlets.

The Expo will also serve as a marketing platform for local and regional manufacturers/suppliers to explore new markets, build brand awareness, meet key buyers, and see new trends and developments.

The Honourable Datuk Snowdan Lawan commented: “the arts and handicraft industry plays a crucial role in our economy as it employs thousands of Sarawakians mainly in SMEs and home-based industries.”

“Furthermore, it is part of the Sarawak Government’s Post Covid-19 Development Strategy to preserve heritage and culture. This is an excellent event to achieve governmental objectives and help Sarawak’s arts and crafts communities interact with influential buyers and collaborators.”