from the Site Selection Online Insider

Periodic reports on what readers have to say and want to know. Register your input by clicking on the "Letters to the Editor" icon located at the bottom of every online feature. (Letters may be edited for clarity and length.)

Malaysia's Multimedia Super Corridor

        Being a Malaysian myself, I'm very glad to see the piece with our Minister Rafidah recently. The Honorable Minister mentioned a lot of good things about Malaysia. In addition to what was said, you might also want to explore more about one area that Malaysia is also making strides in: Shared Services/Outsourcing. A.T. Kearney's 2004 Offshore Location Attractiveness Index (,3,1,75) is a good place to start.
Minister Rafidah Aziz

        The Multimedia Development Corporation — the Malaysian Government agency looking into industry development and investment promotion in ICT and related fields — is positioning Malaysia as a Shared Services and Outsourcing Hotspot. More information about how we can help interested parties can be obtained from this link:

Nik Naharudin Nasir
Manager, MSC Cybercities
Capacity Development Division
Multimedia Development Corporation Editor: Mr. Naharudin,
        Thank you for taking the time to write. The A.T. Kearney report certainly does hold a lot of good news about Malaysia. And shared services outsourcing continues to be a hot ticket, no matter what the political climate may be.
       Minister Rafidah and the entire Malaysian delegation certainly had plenty to talk about when they came to Atlanta in February, including the success of Malaysian companies as well as attracting FDI from elsewhere. With international firms now finding the U.S. a cost-effective location for their operations due to currency exchange and other factors, perhaps the follow-up question to the delegationís visit will be "How many Malaysian firms are investigating the U.S. in their own site searches?"

Leads by the Containerload

CMA-CGM's ships carried some 500,000 containers into and out of the U.S. in 2003.

Site Selection,
       The article (Blockbuster Deal — CMA/CGM Picks Norfolk,VA as port of call for 376 Employee HQ) was very well written, informative, and gave me all the information I needed to contact this firm. Congratulations on a timely and detail-packed story!!

Bob Poole
Chief of Operations
Brown Sugar Janitorial, LLC
Chesapeake, Va. Editor: Mr. Poole,
       You have hit on the reason we exist, both online and in print: To further the conversation about corporate site selection among all parties, and to facilitate connections by drawing our own editorial connections through careful research. Your letter stands as proof of a simple concept: The leads everyone craves can often be found directly in our editorial matter itself.

Nothing Micro about Illinois Small-Town Success

Site Selection,
       Thank you for this article (Strength in Numbers — Top Micropolitans, Site Selection March 2005). You hear so
much about major U.S. cities, it is nice when small towns are recognized for their achievements and developments. As a Chamber of Commerce member in the 36th micropolitan, Jacksonville, lll., I can tell you that the city strives to bring positive growth and meet the needs of its residents. I am originally from the 12th micropolitan, Streator, IL. Can you tell me what the nine developments were that led to its ranking of No. 12 among Top Micropolitans? Highest ranking micropolitan in Illinois — that's something to be really proud of Streatorites!

Amanda Deady
Fund Development Associate
Passavant Area Hospital
Jacksonville, Ill. Editor: Ms. Deady,
        Thank you for your interest in Site Selection. The project data you seek is in the Conway Data New Plant database, a proprietary database that is key to our tracking and reporting on projects and the trends they embody. The list of 2004 projects for Ottawa-Streator included International Titanium Powder, PetsMart Distribution Center and Pilkington North America.

Lighting up the Louisiana Economy

Site Selection,
        I think it's fantastic that Shintech is coming to La. No matter what people say about it. If it werenít for the chemical plants we wouldn't have a lot of the stuff we use on a regular basis. If we stop and think about it, I think that there is a greater risk of dying from cigarettes then
Shintech in 1996 proposed a PVC plant in Convent, La. Community backlash, however, prompted the company to pull the plug on the project three years later. Photo: CorpWatch, San Francisco
from the chemical plants. Even a traffic accident is more likely to happen. We need and depend on the chemicals that are made by these plants in order to survive today. Cars need things like gas, oil, transmission fluids, brake fluids, power steering fluids, etc. So if it werenít for the chemical plants we would not have this luxury. We often depend on bleach to get our clothes clean — there's another chemical. I rest my case.

Jean Chauncey
Irvington, Ala. Editor: Ms. Chauncey,
        The Shintech PVC plant is certainly one of several big economic development stories to hit Louisiana in the past year. And itís funny you mention cars, because one of those stories is yet another expansion for GM in Shreveport.
       But we digress. Your point is spot on about the ubiquity of chemicals in our daily lives. However, though we have yet to fully research the cigarettes vs. chemical plant issue, we can casually observe that the risk of dying is even lower if you light up the former a safe distance from the latter.


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