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  Thursday, February 16 , 2012         Issue 281         Volume 12 Number 4 Sponsor this Newsletter
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Dear International Traders,

This week in Really Useful Resources you will:

• Learn about doing business in Malaysia
• Find out how to make quick international payments
• Learn about Foreign Trade Zones in the US

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The Malaysian External Trade Promotion Agency (MATRADE) recently published “Malaysia Trade Performance 2011” a report that summarizes international trade with Malaysia during the year. In the report we learn that Malaysia was the largest supplier to the United States within ASEAN, with exports of about USD 20 billion, or 8.3% of total exports. However, according to the report's findings, exports from Malaysia to the United States fell 5.5% from 2010 because of weak U.S. demand and the relocation of manufacturing units in Malaysia.

Malaysia today is the 18th-largest US export market (1.1% of U.S. total exports) and the 15th-largest supplier (1.4% of imports). In 2011, nearly half of exports shipped to the U.S. were electrical and electronic products. In the same year, exports from Malaysia of palm oil (8% of exports) rose by 33.8%. Exports of chemicals and textiles followed the same trend.

Business in South Africa
Petronas Towers, symbol of Malaysian economic development

Many other opportunities can be found in Malaysia, particularly in the agri-food sector. Indeed, the quality/price of food from Malaysia is internationally recognized and distribution services are regarded as being reliable. In recent years, major U.S. retailers like Wal-Mart have increased their food sourcing from Malaysia, partially in order to reduce their dependence on products from China.

The U.S. and Malaysia began negotiations on the establishment of a free trade agreement in June 2006. The last round of negotiations was held in Washington DC in July 2008. According to the US-ASEAN Business Council, two new rounds of negotiations will be needed to finalize this agreement.

To learn more about trade relations between the U.S. and Malaysia:
• Malaysia: Trade Performance for the Year 2011 on MATRADE's Website
• Trade in Goods with Malaysia on the Census Bureau's Website
• US-Malaysia Trade Facts on the USTR Website

To assist you in your business in Malaysia:
The American-Malaysian Chamber of Commerce
The US Commercial Service in Malaysia
The Embassy of the United States in Kuala Lumpur
Malaysian Professional and Business Association
Malaysia Business Council
MATRADE - Malaysian National trade promotion agency

Trade event in Malaysia:

15th South East Asia Healthcare and Pharma Show - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - 04/17-19/2012

For information about other countries:
• Find reports and resources for 185 countries, FITA Country Miniportals
• The mini portals of


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Quick International Payments

There are many ways of making international payments. Most commonly import businesses will go to their bank, take out a letter of credit, arrange for payment against documents or arrange a wire transfer. But in these days of instant international communication and business you sometimes have to do it quickly and easily, without having to talk to your banker or anyone else. There are two main types of services: quick payment services and currency transfer services. The leaders among them are:

PayPal International Payments is perhaps the easiest payment system. Only the payee pays a transaction fee (here is a list of these fees)
Moneygram is a useful service and relatively inexpensive service for payments less than $900.
Western Union (in the US) Travelex (outside the US) Full service payment systems. Some services can be quite expensive.
American Express FX International Payments
Oanda fxGlobalTransfer
XE Trade Money Transfers

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Foreign Trade Zones

Foreign Trade Zones are secure areas in the US that are under U.S. Customs and Border Protection supervision. They are considered outside the customs territory of the United States for the purposes of duty payment. A typical general-purpose zone provides leasable storage/distribution space to users in general warehouse-type buildings with access to all modes of transportation. Most zone projects include an industrial park site with lots in which zone users can construct their own facilities.

The Foreign Trade Zone Board (part of the International Trade Administration of the Department of Commerce), which regulates Foreign Trade Zones, recently released its Annual Report to Congress for the fiscal year 2010. Highlights of the report include:

• There is a 24% Increase in Shipments Into Foreign Trade Zones
• There were 168 FTZ projects fully active during the year
• Exports from facilities operating under FTZ procedures amounted to over $34.8 billion.

For more information about Foreign Trade Zones, also take a look at the website of the National Association of Foreign Trade Zones.

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Stay up to date and informed with U.S. Commercial Service webinars!
Understanding Free Trade Agreements - Washington, DC, United States - 03/21/2012
EU Defense Procurement Directive - Brussels, Belgium - 03/27/2012

and don't forget
Iraq: Opportunities in Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance - United States - 02/22/2012


Get ready for the next Tradeshows! Here is a list running from June 15th to June 28th 2012
CommunicAsia2012, the most established and comprehensive ICT event in Asia - Singapore, Singapore - 06/19-22/2012
28th International FISPAL 2012 Food Service Trade Show, the Latin America's largest trade show dedicated to products and solutions for the food service industry - Sao Paulo, Brazil - 06/25-28/2012

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