Bordered by Indonesia, Thailand, Brunei, Singapore, Vietnam, and Philippines, Malaysia consists of 13 states and three federal territories, and was famous as one of the Asian Tigers in the 90s, due to its booming economy. After a few setbacks, Malaysia is now back on track as the third largest economy in Asia with a thriving export trade, especially food stuff and groceries to countries like Philippines, China, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Hawaii, and other countries in the South Pacific.
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There are many companies that deal in both internationally and local branded products which are popular in South East Asia ranging from instant noodles like Maggi Noodles, cakes and wafers, sandals, candy, chocolate, coffee snacks and crackers. These items are available from their storehouses in Malaysia and can be shipped by containers; less container load or LCL and full container load or FCL. These containers take between 2 and 5 days and can cover most of the major cities like Manila, Davao City, etc in the Philippines and a little bit longer for other countries like Hong Kong or China. The business with the Philippines is quite large, and some of the Malaysian exporters even absorb any import tax on the items exported to that country; however, the local taxes like VAT will have to be paid by the importer.
Some of the most popular items being exported to these neighboring countries include infant cereals, milk powder, cooking oil, wheat flour, insecticide, detergents, seasonings, household products, and beverages like coffee. Malaysia’s traditional trading partners also include the United States, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, etc and exports include petroleum products, liquefied natural gas or LNG, machinery, palm oil, textiles, furniture, etc. By offering international branded products from around the world, many Malaysian exporters are now dealing exclusively in products like Comfort fabric softener, and bakery products like Apollo cake and wafers, etc. Other items that are on the top of their export list includes fortified milk powders like Ensure and Glucerna, and personal care products like shampoos, soaps, and talc.
Retail export sales in Malaysia have reached around US$ 14 billion and is on the way to rise, as more and more trade with neighboring countries increases and as well as newer products. Besides food exports, Malaysian companies also export popular household items like candles, different brands of coffee and tea, toothpaste, hammocks for babies, jerry cans, wheat flour, cooking oil, etc. Payments for these items are usually done through telex transfers, money transfers or through international credit cards. Because they buy these items in bulk, they offer these items at much cheaper rates than buying them in these countries. It is also a big re-exporter of many goods from neighboring countries, and has proved to be a very good gateway to emerging markets like China, Middle East and South East Asia. Their excellent infrastructure, especially in shipping and air cargo means that they are one step ahead of the competition.
Indonesia: Make Papua More Accessible to Journalists
Indonesian authorities continue to restrict access by foreign journalists and rights monitors to Indonesia’s easternmost provinces of Papua, raising serious concerns about the government’s commitment to media freedom. The restrictions defy a May 10, 2015 announcement by Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo – popularly known as Jokowi – that accredited foreign media would have unimpeded access to Papua.