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 December 08, 2015
Inaugural AFECA AEC+EXPO Formed New Milestone In Asian MICE Industry

 The Asian Federation of Exhibition & Convention Associations (AFECA) and co-host Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS) officially opened its first AEC+EXPO 2015 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Malaysia, during November 11-13, 2015. Among those in attendance were Mr. Wee Choo Keong, Chairman of Tourism Malaysia; Mr. Walter Yeh, President of AFECA; and Dato' Vincent Lim, President of MACEOS.

"This AEC+EXPO is the top platform for corporations to expand business to all of Asia and the rest of the world. Over 150 exhibitors participated in the inaugural event, with national pavilions from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Taiwan, as well as many professional buyers and visitors gathered here in the heart of Malaysia. Establishment of the AEC (ASEAN Economic Community) will further strengthen ASEAN's economic development as the leading MICE association in the region," stated Mr. Yeh. The theme "Innovations In MICE - The Way Forward" provided opportunities to network and share many new innovative and creative breakthrough ideas and technologies to spur growth of the manufacturing sector in general, and the MICE industry in particular.

The AFECA Forum gathered hundreds of top professionals from across Asia to address two main topics: sustainability and integration of the ASEAN market. The audience heard from the guest of honor, Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Secretary General, Ms. Rebecca Fatima Sta. Maria. Speakers at the Forum included Vice President of International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), Ms. Cathy Breden; International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Asia-Pacific Regional Director Mr. Noor Ahmad Hamid; as well as representatives from Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, and China.

The AFECA Awards celebrate and acknowledge excellence in the exhibition and convention industry and recognize the contributions of AFECA members in the global marketplace. AFECA Awards included citations in the areas of trade exhibition, consumer exhibition, convention, event, service, young professional, and appreciation, receiving enthusiastic response from Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, China, and Hong Kong.

Seventeen university student teams from China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand gathered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for the AFECA Asia MICE Youth Challenge. They pitched why their respective city/country was the ideal international platform for meetings, incentive travel, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE).

In addition to the opening of AEC+EXPO, AFECA President Mr. Yeh marked another milestone with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the United States-based International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), represented by Vice President, Ms. Cathy Breden. Also, separate MOUs were signed by associations from AFECA and IAEE members.

To cap off the event, top officials from key MICE corporations in Asia met at the AFECA Board and Advisory Council meeting, which focused on the latest MICE trends in the Asia Pacific region, as well as this year's event highlights, AFECA Awards, AFECA Forum, and AFECA Asia MICE Youth Challenge.