The 55th ICCA Congress held in Kuching in November 2016 was a catalyst for the generation of new collaborations for the future and sustainability of the nation’s business events industry. As part of the ICCA congress Gift of Love (GoL) social responsibility program, Sarawak Business Events in collaboration with the Librarians Association of Malaysia managed to collect almost 400 books as donations from the ICCA Congress delegates to be distributed among schools and villages in the rural areas of Sarawak.

The 2016 book-sharing initiative was later undertaken by the 2020 ICCA Congress Sarawak regional hub and it was expanded into a life-changing initiative: the Batang Ai community Library. The longhouse library has been built with the scope to provide a functional space with educational resources to help retain more rural children in school and it has finally been delivered to the local community.

“ICCA has spent years advocating positive societal impacts through business events" said Waikin Wong, ICCA’s Asia Pacific Regional Director. "Sarawak raised the bar for the global business events sector when they announced this initiative as a Congress-led CSR project. It’s time for sector players to think about how they can make an impact in their own community and we hope that more initiatives will be taken by destinations to transform global economies and societies.” 

“Business events are about education which is why they are one of the most effective platforms to change lives around,” stated Committee Advisor and CEO of BESarawak,Amelia Roziman. “As a sector that is connected and collaborative with various parties, we have bigger opportunities to make a difference to Sarawak. This is our motivation and we hope that the library will inspire more business events organisers to replicate this library or create something similar.”