WASHINGTON, Oct 10 -- The guests at Malaysia’s National Day celebration here on Wednesday were introduced to Malaysia’s rambutan which is set to enter the US market starting July next year.
Malaysian Ambassador to the United States Datuk Azmil Zabidi said senior officials from the Malaysian Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry had visited Washington and held a bilateral meeting with their US counterparts to discuss market access for agricultural products.
He said during the meeting both countries agreed to further develop market access for Malaysian tropical fruits, such as the rambutan, he said.
“We are expecting the first shipment of rambutan from Malaysia in July next year. Malaysia imported over a billion dollars worth of agricultural products from the US, and exported nearly a billion dollars to the states,” he said.
The Malaysian embassy in Washington hosted the 62nd National Day and the 56th Malaysia Day on Wednesday with more than 250 guests attending the event.
Also present were David Stilwell, the Assistant Secretary of State for Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, US Department of State and Ted McKinney, the Undersecretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, US Department of Agriculture.
The guests were entertained with cultural performances by the Gemala Sitra group comprising eight children of Malaysian embassy’s officers and staff.
The group, led by Juliana Yunus, the wife of Defence assistant attache at the embassy, had performed in several other events around Washington, Maryland and Virginia as part of their contributions to promote Malaysia to the world, over the past few years.
The US is Malaysia’s second-largest foreign investor, with investments in the manufacturing sector totalling over US$2.8 billion just in the first half of this year alone.