Dali said Malaysia was America's 11th largest trading partner last year and the 17th
biggest market for US exports.
He stressed: "This is indeed remarkable given Malaysia's total population of
only 20 million and yet it is able to provide a market for the United States that
is more than double the American markets of Russia and India combined - Russia and
India are the home of 1.1 billion people.
"This is indicative of the open and liberal trade policies practiced by Malaysia
as well as a reflection of the widespread prosperity in our country.
"The other important dimension of Malaysia-United States relation is in the
field of direct foreign investment. The United States is indeed an important source
of direct foreign investment, ranking over the years as either the first, second
or third largest investor in Malaysia.
"We are indeed appreciative of American investment in Malaysia. We acknowledge
that these investments, more than any other country, have transferred technology
to Malaysians and have contributed to our rapid industrialisation.
"Looking ahead, I am confident that there will be further intensification of
Malaysia-United States relations, including businesses from Connecticut. Indeed,
apart from your ingenuity which I referred to earlier, another significant reason
for selecting Connecticut as my first target for expanding bilateral business ties
is Connecticut's strong state leadership and that Connecticut is not parochial compared
to some other states in the Union.
"I understand that the Connecticut Department of Economics and Community Development
already has an International Strategic Action Plan for enhancing business opportunities
for Connecticut firms throughout the globe. Your economists have identified eight
ŽEmerging Markets' which are significant, one of which is Malaysia. This clearly
indicates that the government of Connecticut already understands the potential for
expanding trade relationship with Malaysia."