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Welcome Address By YB Minister At The Official Opening Ceremony Of Café Malaysia 2017

WELCOME ADDRESS BY
YB DATO' SERI MOHAMED NAZRI ABDUL AZIZ
MINISTER OF TOURISM AND CULTURE MALAYSIA

AT THE OFFICIAL OPENING CEREMONY OF CAFÉ MALAYSIA 2017
12 JANUARY 2017, THURSDAY, 2PM
MATRADE CONVENTION & EXHIBITION CENTRE
___________________________________________________________________

(final salutations to be provided by organising secretariat)

Mr Edward Liu, PBM, Group Managing Director, Conference & Exhibition Management Services,
Ms Yip Leong Sum, President of the Malaysia Specialty Coffee Association
Distinguished guests,
Members of the media,
The exhibitors of and visitors to Café Malaysia 2017,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Salam Sejahtera, Salam 1Malaysia and a very good afternoon.

1. It gives me great pleasure to welcome the 138 exhibitors from 18 countries to Café Malaysia 2017. I understand from the organisers that they are expecting some 10,000 baristas, café and coffee purveyors, coffee roasters, equipment distributors and members of the public from more than 25 countries to converge at Malaysia’s largest coffee and tea event over the next three days. I bid you a very warm Selamat Datang or welcome to the charming and colourful city of Kuala Lumpur.

2. I can see the excitement and buzz of the industry gathered here today. Your enthusiasm and support are important factors for the success of Café Malaysia and its ambitious programme for the industry and its trade and public visitors.

Ladies and gentlemen,

3. The Ministry of Tourism and Culture, together with Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB), is deeply pleased to support Conference & Exhibition Management Services (CEMS) in this strategic effort to further strengthen Malaysia’s ever-growing appeal as a preferred Business Events (BE) or Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) destination.

4. By holding this event annually, we can leverage on Malaysia’s strategic location and strive to become a regional business hub for the café industry professionals.

5. I was also made aware that during Café Malaysia 2016, CEMS successfully launched the first Café Owners Alliance, attracting close to 100 café owners from all over Malaysia coming together to share ideas and network. Kudos to CEMS and everyone involved.

6. Cafe Malaysia has done really well in its endeavour to serve as a B2B platform for key decision makers to source for their café needs, explore new collaborations and opportunities, and this was greatly helped by the rising number of specialty coffee drinkers over the years.

7. For this year's exhibition, Cafe Malaysia is expected to generate an estimated economic impact of RM10 million and nearly RM5 million from visitor expenditures to the country.
Ladies and gentlemen,

8. The coffee culture runs deep in Malaysia, an amazing melting pot of many Asian cultures. The cafes that dot the entire country are popular stopovers for visitors who travel the country to experience the many sights and sounds of Malaysia.

9. Many of the largest growth opportunities for specialty coffee in global markets are in cities that have long-standing coffee-drinking traditions. This holds true in Malaysia where coffee has enjoyed positive growth because of the increasing urbanisation in Malaysia.

10. The market potential as forecasted is definitely growing and is in fact one of the fastest in the restaurant business in Malaysia, with an annual growth of 7%. The main reason for such a positive growth rate is because the industry offers tremendous entrepreneurship opportunities due to its low entry barriers.

11. Everywhere in Malaysia, you will find delightful experiences in drinking your daily cup of coffee. Whether you are in one of the hip specialty cafes mushrooming in towns all over Malaysia or sipping your afternoon kopi or local traditional cuppa, you will find yourself immersed in an experience and ambience that is Malaysia, Truly Asia.

Ladies and gentlemen,

12. The growth of specialty coffee in Malaysia is driven by young consumers’ preference for convenience and a brew that brings out the very best in coffee beans. We are delighted that Kuala Lumpur will take centre stage in this initiative by the leaders in the coffee trade to work hand-in-hand with the industry to grow and promote activities and competitions that will benefit not only the industry, but also the cultural and economic aspects of the specialty coffee industry in Malaysia.

13. I am delighted to hear that many talented young people are now pursuing their dreams and harnessing their creativity by pursuing an artisan’s career as baristas, brewers or latte artists.

14. I wish those competing in the three national level competitions to crown Malaysia’s best barista, brewer and latte artist and the opportunity to represent Malaysia on the world stage, all the very best. I am sure that they will be inspired by the presence of the 2015 World Barista Champion who hails from Australia.

15. I hope that the industry will benefit from the many networking and trade opportunities available at this show for the coffee and tea trade.

16. To our visitors here from all over the world, enjoy your stay here in Malaysia, especially in a year when ASEAN is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Please find the time to visit the various tourist attractions in Malaysia and may you form firm friendships along your journey. May you take home fond memories of your stay in Malaysia.

17. Now let's enjoy the show and your daily cuppa.

18. Thank you.
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