USA: Malaysia Remains Asean’s Leading Exporter To US

NEW YORK, Feb 10 (Bernama) — Malaysia remained Asean’s leading exporter to the United States despite exports dipping 0.25 per cent to US$23.694 billion between January and November last year.

Despite the slight drop in exports during the 11-month period, Malaysia remained the 18th largest import source for the United States, according to latest statistics released by the United States administration.

The Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) Commissioner in New York, Mohd Mustafa Abd Aziz, told Bernama that US-Malaysia two-way trade in 2011 was expected to stabilise with no drastic change.

The New York MATRADE office, which has been organising the Malaysia Kitchen Programme, in an effort to popularise Malaysian food and promote exports of food products and ingredients, is keen to increase its food supplies to US importers.

“The quality of Malaysian food products is considered to be good and reliable. Our food products are also competitive in prices. This is a strong impetus for us to increase our exports to the US,” he said.

Halal food is another area that is inherent with good business.

An Arkansas-based company, Simmons, has been exporting frozen chicken to Malaysia and other Asean countries.

Simmons has obtained a halal certificate from Malaysia, which is widely recognised and makes it easier for US food companies to penetrate into the Gulf and other Middle Eastern countries.

Mustafa said Simmons could coordinate with the Illinois-based Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America which works closely with Malaysia’s Department of Islamic Development, a halal certifying authority.

“By locating to Malaysia, Simmons could even set up a plant there and export processed food products out of Malaysia,” Mustafa added.