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People thronging the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace exhibition (Lima 2019) as it opens its doors yesterday to the public. NSTP/EIZAIRI SHAMSUDIN

FOLLOWING the immense success of the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace exhibition (Lima) 2019, in terms of local and foreign participation, plans are afoot to make the next one even bigger.

Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu said Aircraft Technology, a new sector, would be featured in Lima 2021, together with the existing maritime and aerospace sectors.

“For Lima 2021, we will introduce a new sector, Aircraft Technology, for which we will bring in global players in this area to Malaysia to showcase their products and services,” he said at a press conference jointly held with Transport Minister Anthony Loke.

Mohamad also shared some statistics for Lima 2019, whereby a total of 42,030 trade delegates and officials from 63 countries visited the exhibition from March 26 till 28.

“The value of deals signed stood at (just over) RM4 billion,” he said.

Notably, the exhibition was also visited by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, who viewed the booths and air display. Other royal dignitaries were the Sultan and Raja Muda of Selangor, Tengku Temenggong Kedah and the Melaka and Sabah governors.

Mohamad said the success of Lima 2019 was based on the close cooperation between the Defence and Transport ministries together with other agencies under the International Trade and Industry Ministry, something which has given a positive impact to the country at the global level.

“The number of local and foreign exhibitors for Lima 2019 will be reviewed and efforts to increase participation will be made to increase up to 50 per cent for defence and 50 per cent for commercial,” he said.

Loke, meanwhile, said more than 200 local and foreign delegates attended the International Conference On The Straits Of Malacca while the Asean Aviation Summit saw an identical number.

“Three hundred people attended the career briefing session organised by University Malaysia Terengganu, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) and Maritime Institute of Malaysia held at the Transport Ministry booth here,” he said.

“Furthermore, the first inaugural flight from Langkawi to Phuket by Malindo Air took to the skies on March 26.

“Malindo Air will operate the route three times a week,” he said.

Loke also said the International Tourism Promotional Fund (ITPF), that has an allocation of RM5 million to finance tourism promotional activities in Langkawi, aimed to attract more tourists to the island.

In addition, MAHB in collaboration with Malaysia Design Development Centre (DDEC) has established HIMPUN, a fashion handicraft and products centre in Langkawi Airport.

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