Nor Syareena Yem, the second secretary (agriculture) at the Embassy of Malaysia in Washington DC, is currently at the NYFFS where agricultural products from Malaysia are being showcased.
"Malaysia is one of the world's four top exporters of seafood to the U.S.
Malaysian shrimps are popular in the U.S. We would like to increase the exports of tilapia fish to the U.S. which is a good market for all kinds of seafood items.
Nor Syareena said these fruits are popular in other markets, including China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), but once the U.S. market is opened, Malaysian suppliers would have to work towards increasing production because demand from the U.S. is expected to be strong.
Although Malaysia's palm oil exports to the U.S. are doing well, many experts there predict that palm oil will be increasingly challenged by coconut oil, which has been praised in some medical journals and research studies for its health benefits.
The ministry's participation at the NYFFS was organised by the Federal Agricultural and Marketing Authority (FAMA), which in turn has appointed an organisation called ASIA Etc. to organise its participation at the trade show. ASIA Etc. also helps in promoting Malaysia's exports of agricultural products.
"We are also exhibiting various products offered by Asian Meals, a Malaysian food brand, and are showcasing a number of food items such as noodles, jams, coconut chunks, pineapple chips and jackfruit chips.
"We have received good enquiries at this show for the ready-to-eat food products which are popular in North America because of the growing Asian and Chinese population.
"We have even received a business enquiry from a Saudi Arabia-based importer who has shown interest in importing chips, jams, etc. from Malaysia," Nor Syareena said.
She also expressed confidence that despite the seeming economic uncertainties American consumers are increasing their consumption and are willing to buy foreign agricultural products.
"The U.S. is and will remain an attractive market for agricultural exports," she added.
Malaysia's exports of agricultural products to the United States, including palm oil, amounted to RM 5.117 billion in 2013.