Deputy chief of mission of the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur Edgard D. Kagan told StarBiz that there were also companies in China that wanted another location in Asia to set up a platform. “They are looking at Malaysia because of its legal and physical infrastructure, geographical location, capability to undertake research and development (R&D) activities and skilled workforce,” he said.
Also present at the interview were commercial officer Paul V Oliva, economic affairs counselor Andrew R Herrup and public affairs counselor Frank Whitaker.
Kagan said Malaysia, specifically Penang, was now being seen as a choice location for R&D activities.
Kagan said over the past few years, there has also been a trend of Asian companies looking to the United States to invest rather than just as a place to sell.
“They have found that doing business in the United States can be very cost-effective due to the structural benefits and the market size, especially when the cost of doing business in Asia has risen over the years,” he said.
Meanwhile, Oliva said there were currently some 34 Malaysian companies in the United States negotiating to purchase rights to distribute American films and television programmes and talking to production companies to co-produce films. Oliva said the United States was Malaysia’s fourth-largest trading partner after Singapore, China and Japan.
“Malaysia is the United States’ 22nd largest trading partner,” he said.
Oliva said the top US products to Malaysia included integrated circuits, aircraft and parts, telephone equipment, semiconductors and light-emitting diodes, and scientific equipment.
In 2013, the value of bilateral trade between Malaysia and the United States was at US$44.2bil (RM147.98bil).
The sale of US goods and services to Malaysia was at US$15.5bil, while the export of Malaysian goods and services to the United States was at US$28.7bil.