MIRI: The expected arrival of some 15,000 people to the triple celebration of the Foochows here will surely help boost the local economy, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan.
“Assuming that apart from paying hotel bills, food and transportation costs, each participant spends at least RM2,000, that would be a lot of money,” he remarked when launching the decorative lights at Miri Tourism Corridor, North Yu Seng Road on Tuesday night.
The delegates and participants representing 70 Foochow associations from 20 countries, including host Malaysia are expected to arrive beginning today.
They are also from foreign countries – Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore, America, New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, and South Africa.
They would be here to attend the 20th Anniversary of World Federation of Fuzhou Associations, 50th Anniversary of Federation of Foochow Associations of Malaysia and 30th anniversary of Federation of Foochow Associations of Sarawak.
The Tourism and Heritage Minister was also proud of the efforts made by president of World Federation of Fuzhou Associations Tan Sri Datuk Jimmy Lau, a local personality, and the local Foochow associations in bringing the delegates and participants from throughout the world to come to the city.
Lau, is also the president of Federation of Foochow Associations of Malaysia and Federation of Foochow Associations of Sarawak.
On the triple celebration, Dr Chan said it was one clear example that the people could work together to make Miri City an important venue for holding international events apart from attracting tourists.
The event would also help to promote Miri as an important business centre and indirectly make Malaysia known to the world community, he said.
On the lighting up of Miri Tourism Corridor with decorative lights, Dr Chan hoped that other bodies including non-governmental organisations and corporate entities would emulate the fine example of Miri Foochow Association.
Although the duration of the lighting is only for one week until the end of the celebration on Nov 22, it has a far-reaching effect in setting the celebration mood in Miri City, he remarked.
Among those present at the function were assistant minister for Communications Datuk Lee Kim Shin, mayor of Miri City Council Lawrence Lai and political secretary to the Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water Datuk Sebastian Ting.
The triple celebration is held in conjunction with the 10th edition of World Fellowship Convention and will kick off with the Delegates Conference for both the World Federation of Fuzhou Associations and Federation of Foochow Associations of Malaysia on Nov 20 and 21.
Other activities include annual and biennial general meetings, karaoke competition to vie for Tan Sri Datuk Jimmy Lau Trophy, cultural exhibition, fellowship dinner and the opening of Miri Resort City Kindergarten at Bakam.
There will also be post conference tours to places of interests in Miri including world heritage site – the Mulu National Park.