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New York State Senator Presents Proclamation on Malaysia’s 66th National Day 


New York State Senator Presents Proclamation on Malaysia’s 66th National Day 

Malaysia’s Location is of Strategic Importance for Global Trade and Shipping

A New York State Senator has issued a proclamation in honor of Malaysia’s consulate general in New York at a reception recently held at the Malaysian mission in the presence of the members of the consular corps, UN accredited diplomats and the Malaysian diaspora. 

New York State Senator John C. Liu presented the Proclamation to the Malaysian consulate general in New York on the occasion of Malaysia’s 66th National Day, with consul general Amir Farid Abu Hasan accepting it. 

The Proclamation cites, among other things, that “… Malaysia is one of the most diverse countries in the world, with different cultures assimilating from the very beginning of its history; many of these cultures have worked together to contribute to Malaysia’s uniquely diverse heritage, while vigorously maintaining their identities and customs”.  

The citation also cites the 66th National Day of Malaysia as a “special day, with glorious celebrations heralding another year of independence all over Malaysia, from Perlis to Kuala Lumpur to Sabah and Sarawak; for many Malaysians, National Day of Malaysia reflects on the unity, peace and prosperity of the country …” 

While accepting the Proclamation, consul general Amir recalled the historic moment when Malaya (as Malaysia was known then) stepped into the international arena as a free and independent nation, released from the British colonial yoke. He referred to the “proud moment in history” when Tunku Abdul Rahman (he was the country’s first prime minister and foreign minister after it gained its independence, continuing in that post when the federation of Malaysia was formed in 1963) raised the flag of independent Malaysia. 

“Malaysia has successfully evolved from an agricultural nation and moved towards further industrialization,” Amir said. 

The presence of ASEAN diplomats charged with promoting trade and investments at the event, emphasized the key role trade and economic ties play in strengthening the overall U.S.-ASEAN bilateral relations.   Malaysian Trade Commissioner in New York, Nyaee Ayup, whose office promotes trade with the U.S., said:  “I am happy about this Proclamation … it should also help profile Malaysia in trade and business circles.” 

With an increasingly receptive market for sophisticated products and services, including in technology, manufacturing, and healthcare, Malaysia remains the 19th largest trading partner of the United States, with two-way trade peaking at $ 72.9 billion in 2022. 

New York State Senator John C. Liu, in an interview with Global Trade Magazine, underscored Malaysia’s importance for New York and, indeed, for the United States.  “We look up to Malaysians and try to emulate them … they have strength and harmony in diversity,” he said. 

“We think of New York as the center of the universe, sometimes deservedly and sometimes undeservedly.  The Malaysian community reminds me about our own diversity … we can emulate them and learn from them,” Liu added unabashedly.

The composition of Malaysia’s population is characterized by a mixture of ethnic groups and their respective cultures, comprising Malay, Chinese, Indian and native groups.  The Malaysian social fabric rests on six pillars – sustainability, care, compassion, respect, innovation, prosperity and development – “which have guided the country’s destiny”, as one Malaysian community leader present at the Proclamation ceremony put it. 

Malaysia is one of the 10 member states of the Southeast Asia bloc known as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) whose economic significance and strategic location have become key factors in the Indo-Pacific calculations of successive U.S. administrations.  

The other nine ASEAN member states are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. 

Indeed, the ASEAN group of nations is clustered along the crucial trade and shipping route, the Strait of Malacca, which many experts describe as the “lifeline” of East-West sea trade. 

The Strait of Malacca is a narrow stretch of water, 500 miles long between the Malay Peninsula to the northeast and the Indonesian island of Sumatra to the southwest, connecting the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. As the main shipping channel between the Indian and Pacific oceans, it is one of the most important shipping lanes in the world. It is named after the Malaysian state of Malacca.

According to the International Transport Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Malaysia’s central location in the Asia Pacific region makes it an ideal gateway to Asia and ASEAN markets.   There are more than 40 seaports across Malaysia. Sixteen of these ports have container facilities. The largest container port in Westport, along the Straits of Malacca in Port Klang, an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur.  

Air cargo facilities are well developed in the five international airports. In Peninsular Malaysia, these are the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Penang International Airport, and Langkawi International Airport. Malaysia’s modern KLIA is the nation’s largest airport, located south of Kuala Lumpur. Cargo import and export procedures are fully automated at KLIA.  

The New York State Senate’s gesture in presenting the Proclamation to Malaysia is also being seen as an acknowledgement of the “crucial importance” of the ASEAN region in the Indo-Pacific region.  Other ASEAN diplomats, preferring to remain anonymous, remarked that their group saw “huge potential for trade, business and investment” in cooperation with the United States.  They were also keen to acquire U.S. technology which could further push their countries towards modernization and greater industrialization.   


Malaysia Sees Trade as Vehicle to Forge Closer Bilateral Ties with US

Malaysia Sees Trade as Vehicle to Forge Closer Bilateral Ties with US

Two newly arrived Malaysian diplomats in New York underscore the importance of forging closer ties with the US, and underscore the importance of trade in promoting bilateral ties. 

Amir Farid Abu Hasan, the new Malaysian consul general in New York, who was transferred from the Malaysian High Commission in Dhaka, Bangladesh, says that trade and business would lead to greater cooperation between the two countries. 

Amir, who says that “New York is a different terrain altogether”, sees the crucial role the business-oriented Malaysian diaspora in the US can play in fostering closer bilateral ties. .  

“We work closely with the Malaysian diaspora … there are about 21,000 Malaysians residing in the 17 state jurisdiction served by our consulate general and about 45,000 in the United States.  The diaspora performs an important role in promoting Malaysia’s interests through people-to-people contacts, business and professional relations, etc.  Since many Malaysians in the U.S. are engaged in business and trade, they help forge close business and trade relations with the US which is an important trading partner for us,” the envoy said in an interview with Global Trade Magazine

The diaspora’s significance was also evident during the visit of the then Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob to New York in Septemer, when a dinner was hosted for the large diaspora in the U.S. with many guests coming from across the United States. 

Besides providing consular services to Malaysian nationals in the country, the consulate general promotes Malaysia’s economic interests, and coordinates with the offices of dedicated agencies in New York like the Malaysian External Trade Corp. (MATRADE) and the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA). “We cooperate with each other in various ways, including at the federal, state and city council levels,” the consul general said. 

The U.S. which has, traditionally, been one of the top three trading partners of Malaysia, is viewed as a key market for the export-oriented economies of Malaysia and other Southeast Asian countries.  “With uncertainties characterizing the Chinese market, which has been very lucrative for most Southeast Asian countries, the current thinking is not to put all your eggs in the China basket … the mantra is diversification,” explains Thomas Lee, a Chinese-Malaysian businessman who participates in US trade fairs for his company based in Sabah in the Borneo region. 

Indeed, at the networking luncheon he hosted for his counterparts from other Asian countries on Dec. 6 at Malaysia’s permanent UN mission in New York, Amir reinforced Malaysia’s “keen interest” to intensify trading and business ties with the United States. Edward Mermelstein, the commissioner in the New York Mayor’s Office for International Affairs, and his deputy Dilip Chauhan, were among the invited guests. 

Amir’s resolve to improve US-Malaysian bilateral trade and economic ties is also shared by the newly appointed Malaysian trade commissioner, Nyaee Ayup, at the MATRADE office in New York. 

The new trade commissioner worked at MATRADE’s head office in Kuala Lumpur before she was assigned to New York.  Prior to that, she had served as Malaysia’s trade commissioner in the Philippines from 2014-2018.  Nyaee has intimate knowledge of major industries that drive Malaysia’s exports, including electrical and electronics, information technology, green technology, etc. 

A product of the National University of Malaysia, where she studied statistics, Nyaee has come at a time when the U.S. economy is facing a slowdown accompanied by high inflation, prompting many economists and pundits to believe that America may be headed towards a recession.

Nyaee acknowledged in an interview in her office that the US slowdown could pose a challenge “as it may possibly affect our overall exports to the US which is our third largest trading partner”.

But, as she put it, “you can also find opportunity in a critical situation”. Malaysia’s forte lies in having a strong base in such crucial industries as the electrical and electronic industry. The semiconductors product category is an area where Malaysia can use its existing presence in the US to further strengthen its market position, particularly since many American companies are seeking to diversify their supply chains. “This could open up new opportunities for Malaysia in the US market.” 

Another industry in which Malaysia can flex its muscles is healthcare, with international buyers from around the world, including the US, showing interest in Malaysia’s medical devices, as is evident at the annual MEDICA trade fair, the world’s leading event for medical devices held in Dusseldorf, Germany, which attracts large Malaysian exhibitor contingents. 

The Covid pandemic has led to an unprecedented demand not only for PPE products but also for scientific and medical devices.  “The Covid has also aroused interest in many parts of the world, including the US, for medical devices produced In Malaysia,” Nyaee said, adding that the healthcare sector is inherent with strong business potential for healthcare products.  

Nyaee said that trade fairs and exhibitions provided an excellent platform to showcase products; Malaysian companies, she said, were already participating in a number of industry-related trade fairs. 

According to trade figures provided by MATRADE, Malaysia’s 2021 exports to the US amounted to US$ 34.31 billion, up from US$ 26.03 billion in 2020; imports from the US in 2021 amounted to $ 18.02 billion up from $ 16.60 billion in 2020. Malaysia’s exports during the first ten months (Jan-Oct) of 2022 amounted to $ 31.39 billion, up from $ 27.79 billion during the year earlier period, while imports in the Jan.-Oct. 2022 period amounted to $ 19.37 billion over $ 14.81 billion in the previous year’s corresponding period. 

Malaysia’s major exports to the US consist of electrical and electronic products, rubber products, optical and scientific equipment, wood products, etc., while imports from the US consist of electrical and electronic products, chemicals and chemical products, machinery equipment and parts, optical and scientific equipment, etc.

Author’s Bio

Manik Mehta, a New York based journalist, writes extensively on foreign affairs/diplomacy, United Nations, U.S. bilateral relations, global markets, business/trade, shipping/logistics, etc.


palm oil

Labour Shortages and the EU Ban: New Challenges for the Palm Oil Market

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘World – Palm Oil – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends, and Insights.’ Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

While Indonesia, planning to expand production, fights for the EU’s recognition of palm oil as a biofuel, Malaysia is faced with an acute shortage of labor due to the outflow of guest workers after the pandemic. Despite the challenges in these two countries, which produce 85% of the world’s palm oil, the global demand remains high. As the economies of the main importers, China and India, recover, the previous growth in demand is expected to continue.

Key Trends and Insights

In March 2021, the futures price for crude palm oil reached its highest level of 954 US$/MT in 13 years, according to the Malaysian Palm Oil Council, March 23. This is due to limited supply from manufactures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Malaysia, the world’s second-largest palm oil producer, faces severe labor shortages. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the country has stopped hiring foreign workers, and the former migrants have returned to their homeland. Malaysian suppliers have asked the government to fill a 50,000 labor shortage, which could lead to a 20% drop in palm oil production. They also ask to cut product taxes and invest additional funds in the industry.

Over the next two years, the rising demand from the world’s two largest importers, India and China, is expected to become the main driver for the palm oil market growth. These economies recover, and rapid urbanization contributes to an increase in the need for food products.

Falling production and rising prices for sunflower oil, as a result of the sunflower harvest failure last year, could further fuel demand for palm oil.

Increasing tariffs for container transportation and a planned reduction of palm oil consumption in Europe could hamper market growth. The Renewable Energy Directive (RED) II and other food safety regulations could decrease palm oil imports to the European Union and phases out the use of palm oil as biodiesel. In 2017, the European Parliament adopted a resolution that bans palm oil for biofuel production due to the large-scale deforestation and labor rights violations in Indonesia and Malaysia. Also, in 2019, the European Union imposed an import duty on Indonesian biodiesel.

Indonesia Dominates the Market and Continues to Expand Production

Global palm oil production rose remarkably to 76M tonnes in 2019, picking up 6.4% against 2018. The total output volume increased at an average annual rate of +5.4% from 2012 to 2019.

Indonesia (44M tonnes) is the world’s largest producer of palm oil, comprising approx. 57% of the global volume. Moreover, Indonesia’s palm oil production exceeded the figures recorded by the second-largest producer, Malaysia (20M tonnes), twofold. The third position in this ranking was occupied by Thailand (3M tonnes), with a 4% share (IndexBox estimates).

From 2012 to 2019, the average annual growth rate in Indonesia totaled +7.7%. The remaining producing countries recorded the following production growth rates: Malaysia (+0.8% per year) and Thailand (+7.9% per year).

Driven by increasing demand for palm oil worldwide, the market is expected to continue an upward consumption trend over the next decade. Market performance is forecast to decelerate, expanding with an anticipated CAGR of +3.1% for the period from 2019 to 2030, projected to bring the market volume to 106M tonnes by the end of 2030.

India and China to Remain as the Top Importers

In 2019, global palm oil imports rose markedly to 50M tonnes, picking up by 7.2% on the previous year. The total import volume increased at an average annual rate of +2.8% over the period from 2012 to 2019.

In value terms, palm oil imports amounted to $30.5B (IndexBox estimates).

In 2019, India (9.7M tonnes), distantly followed by China (5.5M tonnes), Pakistan (3.2M tonnes), the Netherlands (2.8M tonnes), and Spain (2.7M tonnes) represented the key importers of palm oil, together creating 47% of total imports. The U.S. (1.6M tonnes), Italy (1.5M tonnes), Bangladesh (1.5M tonnes), Egypt (1.1M tonnes), Malaysia (1.1M tonnes), Russia (1.1M tonnes), Myanmar (1M tonnes), and Kenya (0.9M tonnes) followed a long way behind the leaders.

From 2012 to 2019, the biggest increases were in Spain, while purchases for the other global leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the largest palm oil-importing markets worldwide were India ($5.4B), China ($3.4B), and Pakistan ($1.8B), together comprising 35% of global imports.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

animal food

USA Animal Food Market: Key Insights

IndexBox has just published a new report, the U.S. Animal Food (Except Dog And Cat) Market. Analysis And Forecast to 2025. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The revenue of the animal food market in the U.S. amounted to $30.5B in 2018, falling by -2.1% against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price). Over the period under review, animal food consumption, however, continues to indicate a measured reduction.

The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2015, with an increase of 2.7% year-to-year. Over the period under review, the animal food market reached its peak figure level at $34.8B in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2018, consumption stood at a somewhat lower figure.

Animal Food Production in the USA

In value terms, animal food production totaled $30.8B in 2018. Over the last decade, animal food production, however, continues to indicate a measured curtailment. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2015, with an increase of 2.4% year-to-year.

Exports from the USA

In 2018, animal food exports from the U.S. stood at 864K tonnes, standing approx. at the previous year. The total export volume increased at an average annual rate of +3.0% over the period from 2013 to 2018; the trend pattern remained consistent, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations over the period under review.

In value terms, animal food exports totaled $506M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018.

Exports by Country

China (163K tonnes), Japan (137K tonnes) and South Korea (110K tonnes) were the main destinations of animal food exports from the U.S., together accounting for 47% of total exports. These countries were followed by Indonesia, Trinidad and Tobago, Vietnam, the Philippines, Colombia and Taiwan, Chinese, which together accounted for a further 37%.

From 2013 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of exports, amongst the main countries of destination, was attained by Colombia, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, China ($115M) remains the key foreign market for animal food exports from the U.S., comprising 23% of total animal food exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Japan ($48M), with a 9.5% share of total exports. It was followed by Indonesia, with a 9.4% share.

Export Prices by Country

In 2018, the average animal food export price amounted to $586 per tonne, dropping by -2.3% against the previous year. Over the period under review, the animal food export price continues to indicate a slight decrease.

Export prices varied noticeably by the country of destination; the country with the highest export price was Taiwan, Chinese ($850 per tonne), while the average price for exports to South Korea ($306 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2013 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of export prices was recorded for supplies to Taiwan, Chinese, while the export prices for the other major destinations experienced mixed trend patterns.

Imports into the USA

In 2018, the amount of animal food (except dog and cat) imported into the U.S. amounted to 291K tonnes, growing by 7.4% against the previous year. Over the last decade, the total imports indicated a prominent increase from 2013 to 2018: its volume increased at an average annual rate of +10.2% over the last five year period. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. Based on 2018 figures, the animal food imports decreased by -1.8% against 2016 indices. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2014, when the imports increased by 27% against the previous year. Over the period under review, animal food imports attained their maximum at 296K tonnes in 2016; however, from 2017 to 2018, imports stood at a somewhat lower figure.

In value terms, animal food imports amounted to $428M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. The total import value increased at an average annual rate of +4.3% from 2013 to 2018; however, the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations being observed over the period under review. Over the period under review, animal food imports attained their peak figure in 2018, and are likely to continue its growth in the near future.

Imports by Country

In 2018, Malaysia (87K tonnes) constituted the largest supplier of animal food to the U.S., with a 30% share of total imports. Moreover, animal food imports from Malaysia exceeded the figures recorded by the second largest supplier, China (38K tonnes), twofold. The third position in this ranking was occupied by India (34K tonnes), with a 12% share.

From 2013 to 2018, the average annual growth rate of volume from Malaysia totaled +20.6%. The remaining supplying countries recorded the following average annual rates of imports growth: China (-1.2% per year) and India (+137.4% per year).

In value terms, France ($69M), China ($64M) and Malaysia ($58M) appeared to be the largest animal food suppliers to the U.S., with a combined 45% share of total imports. These countries were followed by Germany, India, the Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, Italy, Indonesia, Ireland and South Korea, which together accounted for a further 30%.

Import Prices by Country

The average animal food import price stood at $1.5 per kg in 2018, coming down by -5.7% against the previous year. Over the last decade, the animal food import price continues to indicate a deep shrinkage.

There were significant differences in the average import prices amongst the major supplying countries. In 2018, the country with the highest import price was France ($7,787 per tonne), while the price for South Korea ($132 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2013 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of import prices was attained by Germany, while the import prices for the other major suppliers experienced mixed trend patterns.

Companies Mentioned in the Report

Southern States Cooperative, Jbs United, Inc., Valley Proteins, Furst-Mcness Company, Hi-Pro Feeds, H.J. Baker & Bro., Milk Specialties Company, Stillwater Milling Company, Cooperative Producers, Kent Nutrition Group, Provimi North America, Purina Mills, Reconserve, ADM Alliance Nutrition, American Proteins, Goldsboro Milling Company, Farmers Union Industries, O.K. Industries, Vp Holdings Corporation, Equity Group – Kentucky Division LLC, Heartland Pet Foods Manufacturing, Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform