Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak launched a gimmick at the opening ceremony of the International Trade and Exhibition Center Building (MiTEC), in Kuala Lumpur with International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed (second, right) and Group Exercutive Chairman Naza Group , SM Nasarudin SM Nasimuddin. (pix by SYARAFIQ ABD SAMAD)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC) will achieve the objective of making Kuala Lumpur one of the top five most visited cities by 2020.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who officially launched the RM628 million building last night, said he was confident that with MITEC's state-of-the-art facilities, it would put Malaysia on the map while also creating job opportunities and raising skill levels and wages of the people.

"According to the International Congress and Convention Association, Kuala Lumpur is ranked eighth in Asia Pacific and 28th globally as a convention centre city; while among countries, Malaysia was ranked seventh in the region and 30th in the world.

"Last year, the Malaysian MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) industry attracted 111,298 delegates to 153 events and generated RM1.035 billion in revenue.

"By 2020, business tourism is forecast to contribute RM3.9 billion to Gross National Income and generated 16,700 jobs.

"With MITEC however, I am certain that these rankings and figures are set to improve further, and play its part in reaching our goal of making Kuala Lum[pur one of top five most visited cities by 2020," he said in his speech.

Najib was speaking at the official handover ceremony of the MITEC building by Naza Group to the International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) here.

He said the government would promote it as a venue of choice and encourage major national and international events and conferences to be held at MITEC, in line with the government's business-friendly policies.

Najib also said MITEC was another example of how the government's plans had delivered and continuing to deliver for the benefits of Malaysians.

The handover ceremony saw International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed accepted the completed RM628 million building from Naza Group executive chairman and chief executive officer SM Nasarudin SM Nasimuddin.

MITEC, which was developed by the Naza Group property arm, Naza TTDI Sdn Bhd, is the first component of the RM20 billion, 30.55ha KL Metropolis project launched in October 2011.

Naza Corporation Holdings, via its subsidiary, Prisma Galery Sdn Bhd has also received the concessionaire license to operate and manage the facility from the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation.

The round shape of MITEC’s design architecture reflects a rubber seed to symbolise the rubber industry’s contribution to Malaysia’s early economic growth.

It is currently the largest exhibition space in the country with a gross floor area of 1.5 million square feet, featuring 11 exhibition halls across three levels, a multi-purpose hall, meeting and conference rooms, media and press facilities, lounges, restaurants and food outlets.

The exhibition centre can accommodate up to 47,700 visitors in theatre-style seating and 28,000 guests in a banquet arrangement at any one time.

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