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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

President Obama Congratulates American Companies On Completing Commercial Agreements


Agreements will increase exports, boost investment in the U.S. and support American jobs

Today, President Obama attended a signing ceremony to congratulate three American companies -- General Electric, Verdezyne and MetLife -- on the completion of commercial agreements in Malaysia worth more than $1.8 billion. As a result of these deals, U.S. companies will be doing more business in Malaysia, increasing U.S. exports, and Malaysians will be investing in America.  All these transactions help support good jobs in the United States.

Three Agreements

GE-Air Asia X

General Electric will supply engines and related maintenance to power 25 new A330 aircraft for Air Asia X.  This sale, worth more than $1.5 billion, will help support thousands of jobs in Cincinnati, Ohio, Durham, North Carolina, Rutland, Vermont and elsewhere in the United States as well as jobs in GE’s 150 suppliers in 34 states.  With this agreement, GE will have provided 600 engines to AirAsia.

Verdezyne-Sime Darby

Sime Darby will take a 30% stake, valued at $30 million, in San Diego-based Verdezyne, a start-up biotechnology company.  Verdezyne will use this investment to fund research and development in the United States.  The two companies will cooperate on developing a new facility that will convert palm oil waste into valuable industrial chemicals.

MetLife-AmBank Group

MetLife and AmBank have agreed to cooperate on a $250 million venture to distribute savings and insurance products, including Takaful, Islamic-compliant insurance contracts. AmBank is the fifth largest banking group in Malaysia.

U.S.-Malaysia Investment and Trade

Malaysia is one of the fastest growing investors in the US.  For example, Genting, a leisure and hospitality company, is investing over $3 billion into the hotel & tourism sector. The Malaysia Life Science Capital Fund includes several U.S. biotechnology companies in its investment portfolio. Finally, Khazanah, the state investment fund, recently opened an office in San Francisco targeting high-tech investments.

Malaysia is also the second largest U.S. trading partner in ASEAN and the United States is Malaysia’s fourth largest trading partner worldwide.

Reflecting Malaysia’s strong integration into global supply chains, semiconductors, computer parts and electronic equipment form a substantial part of bilateral trade. Other U.S. exports include civilian aircraft, industrial equipment and chemicals and agricultural products, while additional substantial Malaysian exports include palm oil and medical equipment. 

In 2013, bilateral trade in goods increased to $40.3 billion from $38.8 billion in 2012.