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A Land of Opportunities-Business Ready Environment

Business Ready Environment

It is easy for you to start and scale-up your business smoothly in Malaysia. Malaysia’s established financial and banking sectors, business-friendly policies, ready infrastructure and supportive government facilities make it straightforward for companies to set up operations here. The World Competitiveness Yearbook 2021 has ranked Malaysia’s global competitiveness at 25th place out of 64 economies, an improvement from the 27th position in 2020.

Malaysia is well-positioned to serve as a central hub for worldwide trade. Our air transport infrastructure is among the best in the world. Our coastal ports provide direct maritime access in Asia to Singapore, China, as well as to Europe and the U.S. We also offer investors a selection of secure trade corridors and industrial zones that regularly facilitate continual supply chain and business operations.

Our policies continue to be pro-business, prudent and pragmatic to create an environment that is safe, secure and scalable for the long term success of businesses here. This includes 100% equity ownership in the manufacturing and selected services sectors, competitive investment incentives and IP protection laws that conform with international standards.

Malaysia's Global Standing

Take a look at how Malaysia stacks up against the global competition.

Our efforts in attracting investments and driving productivity and innovation through economic and regulatory reforms have received worldwide recognition by various international institutions.



Top country in emerging Southeast Asia for Foreign Investment

(Global Opportunity Index, Bloomberg 2022)

Most Competitive Emerging Market

(Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index 2022)

Most Competitive Country in ASEAN

(World Competitiveness Yearbook 2021, IMD)

Progressive Infrastructure, Excellent Connectivity

Industrial Parks
Network of

Malaysia is committed to continuously developing and upgrading its infrastructure. This has resulted in over 500 dedicated industrial parks, specialised industrial parks and free industrial zones, expanding telecommunication technologies, growing network of highways, efficient seaports and well-recognised international airports.


Malaysia has over 500
industrial estates


Malaysia has 18
Free Industrial Zones (FIZS)



Malaysia has the perfect combination of world-class infrastructure components to manoeuvre people and goods around the country quickly and affordably. Our fibre optic technology, international airports, and seaports as well as well-maintained highways make Malaysia an ideal access point to the Asia-Pacific market.

 Industrial parks are continuously being developed by state governments as well as private developers to meet industry’s demands. Malaysia’s economic corridors complement MIDA’s efforts to attract strategic partners to invest in their respective regions.

Companies in FIZs are allowed duty free imports of raw materials, components, parts, machinery and equipment directly required in the manufacturing process. In areas where FIZs are not available, companies may apply to set up Licenced Manufacturing Warehouses (LMWs).

Specialised parks are developed to cater to the needs of specific industries. These include Technology Park Malaysia in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur and the Kulim Hi-Tech Park in the northern state of Kedah which also caters to technology-intensive industries and R&D activities.

Liberal Equity Policy

Malaysia’s liberal equity policy makes it easier for foreign companies to set up their business here to stay ahead. Since June 2003, foreign investors could hold 100% of the equity in all investments in new and expansion / diversification projects in the manufacturing sector and selected services sectors. Liberalised services sub-sectors include selected areas of health and social services, tourism services, transport services, business services and computer and related services.

Intellectual Property (IP) Protection

Malaysia’s IP laws are in conformance with international standards

  • Member of the World Intellectual Property Protection
    Organisation (WIPO)
  • Signatory of the Paris Convention and Berne Convention
    which govern IP rights
  • Signatory of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of IP
    Rights (TRIP 8) under the WTO

Malaysia has signed Investment Guarantee Agreements (IGAs) with more than 60 countries

Malaysia's IP Protection Safeguards

The world’s most innovative companies choose Malaysia due to our secure Intellectual Property (IP) protections which safeguard more than just their ideas or concepts. It protects their genuine business assets that are integral to the core services of the business and overall long-term viability. Malaysia’s robust Intellectual Property (IP) laws will secure all your innovations.

From powering the cloud and billions of smart devices, Intel for example, creates value for its customers and stakeholders from their Malaysian Global Service Centre. It is used to undertake research and development activities for computing devices; and services activities relating to finance, human resources, information technology, procurement, manufacturing, logistics, warehousing and sales marketing services.

Intel has invested more than RM14 billion over almost 50 years and employed 9,000 highly-skilled Malaysians. Penang was the site of Intel’s first offshore assembly plant in 1972. Today, Intel’s largest assembly and test site among its global network is also located in Penang.

Intellectual Property









The US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Centre (GIPC), in its 7th Annual International Intellectual Property (IP) index – 2019, ranks

With great changes in technologies and business operations, there is a growing need for global innovation to address many of the rising challenges. Countries that maximise the role of IP enable great progress in innovation and spur businesses in terms of productivity and technology advancement. In line with this, Malaysia is also fostering a vibrant R&D landscape through various initiatives including an incentive for IP development. Guidelines on this incentive can be found here.




The Conducive Business Environment in Malaysia

The conducive business environment in Malaysia has made the country one of the world’s top investment destinations for offshore manufacturing operations. Malaysia has to date attracted more than 5,000 foreign companies from more than 50 countries to establish their operations in the country. Many companies continue to expand and diversify operations in the country, reflecting ongoing confidence in Malaysia as a preferred site for their business ventures.

Prominent Foreign Manufacturing

Convergence of Traditional Services Hubs

Today, Malaysia has enticed a hybrid suite of business models from Global/Regional Headquarters, Centers of Excellence (COEs) to Procurement and Distribution Hubs.

Malaysia holds many attractions for MNCs looking to tap into a strategic location within Asia Pacific for their services operations to support the management of their regional or global supply chains.

Approved Regional and Global Operations (as at December 2020)







USD14.3 bil


National Investment Aspirations (NIA)

The NIA is a forward-looking growth framework that will form the basis for comprehensive reforms of Malaysia’s investment policies. It will focus on coherence and cohesiveness, with these aspirations being reflected across all national policy documents and initiatives related to investment, including the new Industrial Masterplan and the 12th Malaysia Plan. It plays an important role in revitalising Malaysia’s investment climate, attract high quality investments into the country and create high income jobs, particularly in a post-COVID era.


Five Core Parameters Framing The NIA:

Increase the Economic Complexity

Increase economic diversity and complexity through the development of sophistcated products and services, with local Reseach and Development (R&D) and innovation

Create High-Value Jobs

Create high skill jobs  to provide better income for the people

Extend Domestic Linkages

Expand and integrate domestic linkages into regional and global supply chains, by improving their resiliency

Develop New and Existing Clusters

Develop new and existing clusters focusing on high productivity sectors, including local products and services

Improve Inclusivity

Improve inclusivity to contribute towards the socio-economic develomental agenda

The NIA is expected to propel long term growth for Malaysia through the flow of sustainable quality investment in new and complex growth areas. Given its decades of investment promotion and facilitation track record, MIDA will be assuming a more prominent role in this initiative as part of institutional reforms and in line with the NIA mandate for better policy coherence.


More information on NIA can be read here.


Positioning A Sustainable Malaysia

Under the NIA, investment strategies will prioritise investments and innovation that strike a balance between economic and environmental sustainability anchored on global environmental, social and governance (ESG) benchmarks to support growth along the supply and value chains.


The green initiatives under Budget 2022 include reinforcing the need for Malaysian companies and the local supply chain to adopt ESG frameworks premised on higher value creation.


The transforming strategic sectors that have been identified following ESG-based practices include:

  • Manufacturing
    Transformation to drive increased manufacturing of sustainable products e.g. EVs and adoption of ESG practices such as having a positive social impact
  • Services
    Incorporation of the latest ESG practices into services such as corporate governance standards and sustainable investing
  • High-tech areas
    Integration of advanced technologies with the latest ESG trends such as green data centres
  • Energy and Power
    Accelerated transition of energy and utility industries towards renewable sources

12th Malaysia Plan, 2021-2025 (12MP)

The 12MP is the first phase of Malaysia’s Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 (SPV 2030) towards restructuring Malaysia into a knowledge-based economy that achieves sustainable growth across income groups, ethnicities, regions and supply chains.


The 12MP’s policies, programmes and initiatives revolve around three main dimensions, namely, Economic Empowerment, Environmental Sustainability and Social Reengineering. These dimensions will complement each other towards realising the country’s development model of Shared Prosperity. They are also in line with Malaysia’s efforts to attain the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Updates and further information can be found in the Official Portal of the Economic Planning Unit.