Miami’s Asian Trade Connection

Much has been made about Miami’s Latin American trade connections, but World City has reported some very interesting Miami/Asian trade data in their December 2006 issue—highlighting Miami’s Malaysian connections. The article makes reference to Miami’s growing economic ties to the Southeast Asian peninsular nation, which according to World City is more similar to Miami than most would imagine. Kuala Lumpur, like Miami, is in a subtropical setting, serves as a gateway to several surrounding nations, and is undergoing a building boom. In 2005, Miami officials went on a trade expedition to Malaysia, the results of which are being yielded today. Malaysia opened up its third trade office in the United States in Miami—the other two being in Los Angeles and New York City. From Miami, Malaysian goods are shipped all over the Caribbean and Latin America. In addition to the Miami trade office, Malaysia has trade offices in Sao Paolo, Santiago, and Mexico City. The country ships rubber gloves, furniture, and lumber through Miami to destinations in Latin America. Importantly, the trade ties between Miami and Malaysia are developing and are by no means mature—Malaysia ranks 43rd in the long list of Miami’s international trading partners (despite a 30% increase in traffic in 2005). Exports to Malaysia from South Florida increased 55% in 2006. Plans for a widening of the Panama Canal, it is argued, will boost trade ties between Asia and South Florida. Malaysia, along with other Asian nations, is positioning itself to take advantage of that. Increased trade ties with Asia will decrease dependence on Latin American economies and help foster more balanced trade ties between Miami and other nations.

Miami Asian trade Stats (through September of 2006):

China: 2.9 billion worth of goods traded (18% increase from 2005)

Japan: 724.2 million in trade (11% rise from 2005)

Taiwan: 421.3 million in trade

South Korea: 355 million in trade (13% increase from 2005)

Hong Kong: 240.9 million in trade (9% increase from 2005)

Thailand: 231.9 million in trade (16.9% increase from 2005)

India: 232 million in trade (71% increase in the value of their trade since 2005)

Singapore: 122.2 million in trade (12.6 % increase from 2005)

Indonesia: 115.9 million in trade

Vietnam: numbers n/a but trade increased 22% since 2005

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