TOURISM SECTOR NEED TO OPEN ITS DOOR; WILL BOOST ECONOMIC GROWTH

SHAH ALAM, 30 JULY – A virtual forum of 18th IMT-GT Chief Ministers Governors & Forum was held today and the member of countries consist of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand attended in order to discuss and strategized the tourism economic sector due to the current pandemic of COVID-19. The Indonesia, Malaysia & Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) Joint Business Council Malaysia (JBC) is a council that act as the focal point of the private sector with a clear mission of encouraging the private sector to pursue trade and investment opportunities created by Vision 2036. It will solicit, consolidate and prioritize policy inputs and project ideas from its diverse membership base for achieving the inclusive objectives of JBC and engaged in regular dialogue within the three IMT-GT’s members of countries to ensure issues and challenges related to the implementation of Vision 2036 are properly and promptly dealt with.

JBCs is a council representing private companies from a combination of these 3 countries that contributes to the generation of economic growth and revenues for countries.

Prior to that, JBC (Indonesia, Malaysia & Thailand) in its meeting with “Senior Officials Meetings” on 22nd July 2021, had proposed 7 strategic proposals namely Tourism, Investment and Trade, HRDEC, Services and Halal Products; Agriculture; ICT and Transportation; and the Environment. These seven proposals have been accepted by the SOM which need to be refined in the CMGF meeting.

The Chairman IMTGT JBC, Tan Sri Rozali Ismail in a virtual meeting with Chief Ministers and Governors from the three countries has said that private companies “gasping for air” on their businesses. Where by, there is no revenues can be generated to pay for employees' salaries and other operational costs. However, if they continue to run their business, a statutory body will issue a penalty and blacklisted by the government.

"This situation makes private companies feels like “on the horns of a dilemma”. The Chairman IMTGT JBC, Tan Sri Rozali Ismail, opined that the Business Communities and the Government must find wise ways and being extra precautions on making any decisions in order to continue their business activities during this pandemic of COVID- 19. Thus, we need to have a creative thinking and creating a new methodology” said Tan Sri Rozali.

The Chairman IMTGT JBC opined that under the seven strategic proposals, whereby the tourism sector should be given priority as a catalyst. JBC recommends that the tourism business sector be opened its doors to these 3 countries by micro managing the tourism sector. Governments from three countries can choose 3 tourist destinations such as Phuket (Thailand), Langkawi Island (Malaysia) and Riau Island (Indonesia). The implementation needs to be executed and JBC recommends that:

1. The governments of these three countries must ensure that the islands are free from Covid-19 and the entire population of the islands need to be vaccinated twice (completed the vaccination program). 2. Tourists from 3 countries (Indonesia, Malaysia & Thailand) who want to travel on these three islands must have been vaccinated 2 times (completed the vaccination program). 3. Tourists can only travel within these 3 islands only. 4. Tourists must also follow the SOP instructions from the Governments within these three countries.

The leaders of these three countries must have consensus in implementing this proposal. With this new business procedures, we have managed to tell the world that we have successfully implemented and reopened the activities of the tourism sector among these 3 countries.

Moreover, if the governments from these 3 countries agreed and accept this proposal, JBC is willing to assist the Government in strategizing and implementing this proposal. Thus, if it succeeds, JBC is willing to assist other sectors to open up by adapting the same trend.

The Chairman IMTGT JBC, Tan Sri Rozali Ismail has been appointed recently to oversees on the ideas and strategized on the lucrative opportunities for the private sectors nationwide and also for Indonesia and Thailand to expand their businesses among the member of countries.

The tourism sector needs a global co-operation and evidence-based solutions so travel restrictions can be safely lifted. The survival of businesses throughout the tourism ecosystem is at risk without continued government support and although governments.

have taken impressive action to cushion the blow to tourism, to minimise job losses and to build recovery in fourth quarter of 2021 and beyond. Therefore, there are more safety and health measures that needs to be done, and in a more co-ordinated way.

The tourism ideas presented by the Chairman of IMTGT JBC were a wakeup call and it has been well received and acknowledged by the ministers and leaders of Indonesia and Thailand.