Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
October 2006
Business Development Missions to Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines in February

Wisconsin firms will have the chance to explore some of the most promising markets in the world with the help of the Department of Commerce (Commerce) and US Commercial Service (USCS). Wisconsin is teaming up with the State of Minnesota to lead companies on a business development mission to the cities of Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Manila, February 3-14, 2007. Firms supplying to multinationals, will probably find domestic customers with operations in one or more of the destination countries. With steady economic growth and environmental issues becoming greater concerns for many developed and developing countries, demand for U.S. services and products will grow.

Malaysia is the United States' largest trading partner in S.E. Asia and 10th in the world. The two countries engage in $44 billion worth of two-way trade each year. That is 60 percent more than U.S./India trade. The U.S. is Malaysia's second-largest source of imports. The U.S. and Malaysia are currently negotiating a free trade agreement.

Singapore is one of the world's most prosperous countries, with a per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) equaling that of the leading nations of Western Europe. Singapore is highly ranked for its economic competitiveness, and was the world's most competitive country from 1997 to 1999 as ranked by the World Economic Forum. The Port of Singapore, the worlds busiest in terms of shipping tonnage, is a key component of Singapore's prosperity and a transshipment hub for the region. Singapore is a leader in manufacturing of computer components, petroleum refining, and business services. The United States currently has a free trade agreement with Singapore.

The Philippines's economy showed resiliency during the Asian financial crisis and is supported by its export-oriented manufacturing sector, particularly in electronics and automotive parts. The Philippines has pursued a policy of economic liberalization in the past decade, especially in the retail trade, telecommunications, banking, mining, oil sector, and power sectors. Dell recently opened a call center the Philippines.

At each stop, mission participants will receive tailored industry briefings, U.S. embassy-sponsored networking events, host country government briefings, site visits, and one-on-one meetings customized to each business' specifications. For more information, please contact Beng Yeap, ph: (608) 266-1480, beng.yeap@wisconsin.gov.

-- Beng Yeap and Stanley Pfrang

The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.

Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.

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