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The United States is an important market for Malaysian products. A large consumer base and the world’s premier market economy explain largely why the U.S. is crucial for Malaysian companies’ global expansion. While the Covid-19 crisis has negatively impacted most Malaysian exports to the U.S., a few export industries have actually seen unprecedented demand. This is certainly the case for rubber gloves. However, recent import bans levied against certain Malaysian products are crises that must be managed in a timely and strategic manner.
Using import bans against two major Malaysian palm oil companies as the focus, the panelists will bring various perspectives -- political, legal and business -- to this development. The panel discussion is designed to:
Ms. Suryna Ali divides her time carrying out research on decent work and labor standards while at the same time serving as Principal Project Manager at Kuala Lumpur-based Proforest Sdn Bhd. She has more than 20 years of experience serving in various capacities, as legal advisor, policy advocate, project executor as well as trainer. Her skills and specializations are biodiversity conservation, environment & social safeguards, Indigenous Peoples issues, FDI strategy, social inclusion programs and human rights, with a focus on labor issues in the palm oil industry. She has worked with various international organizations (The World Bank, IUCN, UNDP and The World Resources Institute), the Malaysian Government (the AG’s Chambers) as well as various business communities. Ms. Suryna received her legal training from the International Islamic University and earned her Master’s degree in International Environmental Law and Policy from the University of Cambridge.
Mr. KC Pang is Vice President for HR, Administration & Corporate Affairs of GD Copper USA, Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of a Chinese copper tubing manufacturing company. His job requires him to deal with federal and state regulatory agencies on a regular basis. He has helped his company succeed in a business and political environment that is hostile to China. A native of Malaysia, Mr. Pang had previously held a number of top positions in multinational companies, including FedEx where he served as the company’s Regional Manager for the Asian region (1992 -1999). He was also former professor, International Business, University of Alabama.
Mr. Arthur (Chuck) Medel is a partner at Messrs. Medel Sanfilipo with extensive and broad experience of representing international clients engaged in a range of industries both as a litigator as well as a transactional lawyer. He has advised industry groups on various matters before the FDA. From 1986 to 2000, Mr. Medel led a team that successfully neutralized the anti-tropical oil campaigns on behalf on the Philippine coconut industry. He was also successful in obtaining the FDA approval for natural grade carrageenan for use as a food additive, and organized an educational and public awareness campaigns that were needed to counter negative campaigns mounted by carrageenan’s competitors.
Educated and admitted to practice law in both the U.S. and Malaysia, Dr. Alima Joned specialises in counseling Malaysian multinational companies in charting a strategic business course and addressing legal and political issues in the United States. Her practice covers general corporate matters, international investment law, and trade regulations. She has handled complex legal and sensitive political issues for public and private sectors clients, big and small. For over a decade she advised Petronas on its investments in Iran and Sudan, two countries subject to comprehensive U.S. sanctions regimes amidst (in the case of Sudan) NGOs divestment campaigns. She holds two advanced law degrees from Yale University, an LL.M. degree from University of London and an LL.B. (with Honors) from Universiti Malaya. She presently practices with Messrs. Medel Sanfilipo, Washington, D.C.