Date: Monday 21-Apr-14

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Industries in Malaysia

Textiles and Apparels Industry


The textiles and textile products industry in Malaysia comprises four sub-sectors, namely primary textiles which cover activities such as polymerisation, spinning, weaving, knitting and wet processing; made-up garments; made-up textiles; and textile accessories.  The growth of Malaysia's textiles and apparel industry accelerated in the early 1970s when the country embarked on export-oriented industrialisation. Due to the intensified global competition, Malaysia textile manufacturers are moving up the value chain by diversifying into the production of higher value-added textiles, implementing automation and computerised manufacturing, processes, seeking business collaboration with foreign companies to acquire new technologies and undertaking research and development activities to develop new processes, new applications and value-added products. The industry currently employs more than 68,000 workers.

In 2011, the industry was the 10th largest export earner, contributing approximately 2.3 per cent to Malaysia’s total exports of manufactured goods.  Exports of textiles and textile products for the year 2011 were RM10.8 billion while imports amounted to RM6.6 billion.  The main export items were yarn, woven fabrics and apparels and imports were mostly yarn and woven fabrics.  Malaysia’s apparel manufacturers continue to maintain an excellent reputation for quality to meet high standards set by international brands owner such as Nike, Adidas, DKNY, Ann Taylor, Armani, Talbots and Tommy Hilfiger.

New growth areas in textiles industry have been targeted for promotion under the Third Industrial Master Plan (IMP3). The growth areas for the industry include: industrial and home textiles; functional fabrics; high-end fabrics and garments; ethnic fabrics; and key support facilities and services such as design houses and fashion centres, specialized dyeing and finishing facilities, etc.

Six strategic thrusts have been set for further development of the industry during the IMP3 period. The thrusts include:

(a) Intensifying the promotion of investment in higher value-added textiles and apparel, including key support services
(b) Sustaining the market share in textiles and apparel and promoting exports of the targeted growth areas
(c) Intensifying regional integration of the industry
(d) Enhancing domestic capabilities and facilitating the utilisation of ICT and new technologies
(e) Enhancing the skills of the workforce in designing production and marketing
(f) Strengthening the institutional support for the further development of the industry


To encourage investments in the textiles and textile products industry, several textile products/activities have been gazetted as promoted products/activities under the Promotion of Investment Act, 1986 and could be considered for tax incentives in the form of Pioneer Status or Investment Tax Allowance.  They are:

1. Natural or man-made fibres
2. Yarn of natural or man-made fibres
3. Woven fabrics
4. Knitted fabrics
5. Finishing of fabrics such as bleaching, dyeing and printing
6. Non-woven fabrics
7. Specialised apparel
8. Technical or functional textiles and textile products


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