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A Land of Opportunities -Invest in Malaysia

Welcome to Malaysia. Home of Thriving Opportunities.

Malaysia lies just above the equator, right in the heart of South-East Asia. Strategically located between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, Malaysia is well serviced by all primary air and shipping lines. This coupled with the country’s sustainable and solid economic foundation, comprehensive business ready environment, future-forward focus and dynamic skilled workforce have made Malaysia an attractive cost-competitive investment location in the region, and is fast becoming a preferred centre for shared services and leading technology industries.

330,000 km2
(127,000 m2)
500 industrial estates

Population
32.7 million (2021e)

Ringgit Malaysia (RM) which
is divided into 100 sen.

Business English is widely used.
The multilingual population is
fluent in Malay, English, Mandarin,
Hindi and Tamil.

Parliamentary democracy
constitutional monarch

Tropical-warm and sunny throughout
the year. Daily temperatures range
from 33°C (90F) during the day to 22°C in the late evening

A country with 13 states and
3 federal territories

Freedom of religion guaranteed by
the Constitution. Islam, Buddhism,
Christianity and Hinduism widely
practised.

Secure Economic Foundations

Malaysia has a highly-diversified economic and export structure, supportive labour market, low and stable inflation, a strong and well-capitalised financial sector and a healthy current account of the balance of payments. 

Malaysia Key Economic Indicators (2021e):

RM370.7 billion

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
RM357.9 bil (2020)

3.1%

Real GDP Growth (%)
-5.6% (2020)

RM45.1 billion

GNI per capita (in current prices)
RM42.6 billion (2020)

2.4%

Inflation (%)
-1.2% (2020)

4.2%

Unemployment rate
4.5% (2020)

USD116.3 billion

International Reserves
USD107.7 billion (2020)

Malaysia’s economy remains resilient and rests on strong fundamentals. Its diversified economic structure, sound financial system, effective public health response and proactive macroeconomic policy support suggest that Malaysia will be able to ride out the storm better than many other countries.

-Richard Record, World Bank Lead Economist, Macroeconomics, Trade and Investments Global Practice (2020)

Ideally Situated

Malaysia is well-positioned in one of the fastest-growing economic regions in the world. The South-East Asia region has recorded average GDP growth of 5.3% per annum over the last 20 years.

Heart of South-East Asia


The average ASEAN GDP growth is expected to expand by 5.2% in 2022 and 5.3% in 2023

(Asian Development Outlook, 2022)


Centre of South-East Asia

Market access of over 650 million people with combined GDP of US$3.2 trillion (ASEANstats, 2021)


Well-connected to major ports in Asia

Reaching Mumbai, India within 6 hours and reaching Beijing, China within 9 hours


Next to one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes

Straits of Malacca provides access to global supply chains via 2 key ports.

Gateway to ASEAN and Beyond

Malaysia is a market-oriented economy with 16 Free Trade Agreements

Creating potential market size of 4 billion people

Lower cost of doing business

Almost 99% of products in ASEAN have zero tariffs

Attract 31% of Global FDI 

Global market size is estimated to attract 31% of Global FDI

World’s 3rd Largest Workforce

ASEAN has the world’s third largest labour force and a growing middle class – a powerful engine for long term growth

Largest FDI inflow of any emerging market region 

Continues to be an engine of growth for FDI in Asia and globally (UNCTAD’s 2021 Investment Trends Monitor)

Diversified Economy

From a country once dependent on agriculture and primary commodities, Malaysia has today become an export-driven diversified economy spurred on by high technology, knowledge-based and capital-intensive industries. Our mature and integrated ecosystems developed over the decades nurtured a strong local supply chain that supports the long term growth of your business.

Industry Brief

Malaysia’s manufacturing sector plays an important role in the global supply chain while domestic activities are well represented by the services sector, which has gained greater prominance in the past two decades.

We continue to be an attractive location for businesses across various industries. Malaysia’s diversified sectors offer abundant opportunities for investors expanding into alternative markets.

Extensive Trade Links, Lower Cost of Doing Business

Malaysia has already signed and implemented various free trade agreements (FTA), which include bilateral FTAs with Japan, Pakistan, India, New Zealand, Chile, Australia and Turkey. On the ASEAN level, Malaysia has regional FTAs through the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) with China, Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and India. 

This creates a potential market size of more than 4 billion people globally. Up to 98% of total products have 0% import duties under Malaysia’s FTAs with ASEAN. 

Lower trade barriers translate to lower costs of doing business. This grants companies operating in Malaysia preferential access to capture growth opportunities and immediate markets in one of the world’s largest trading blocs.

Higher Investment Opportunities Through RCEP

Malaysia is among the 10 signatory countries of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world’s largest free trade agreement. RCEP represents 30% of the world’s population and collectively contributes to 30% of global economic activities, as measured by GDP. This is expected to establish a strong framework for cooperation and contribute significantly to economic recovery for the economies involved. Given that the member countries of RCEP are among Malaysia’s top 15 trading partners, this free trade agreement is expected to create a more liberal, facilitative and competitive investment environment that will provide improved investment facilitation and investor aftercare.

 

RCEP will immensely open a new window of opportunities for trade and investments, fortifying connectivity and deepening regional economic integration, which will further accelerate the region’s economic recovery.

Malaysia's Global Standing

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

Malaysia is one of the fastest growing nation in the region. Ranked among the top emerging markets for investment and recognised for its protection of investors as well as its responsiveness to facilitating business needs, Malaysia is the offshore base from which your company can prosper.

1st

Top country in emerging Southeast Asia for Foreign investment

(Global Opportunity Index, Bloomberg 2022)

3rd

Most innovative upper middle- income economy in the world

[Global Innovation Index 2021, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)]

2nd

Most competitive country in ASEAN

25th

Most competitive country in the world

(World Competitiveness Yearbook 2021, IMD)

9th

Top city in Asia Pacific Region, Kuala Lumpur

(Global Technology Industry Survey 2021, KPMG)

13th

On infection management, vaccine rollouts and social mobility

(Nikkei COVID-19 Recovery Index 2021)

1st

Most potential to attract foreign investors among emerging Southeast Asia

(Milken Institute Global Opportunity Index 2022)

15th

Top 20 Asia Fintech Hubs

(Asia Pacific Fintech Rankings 2021: Bridging Divides Report)

25th

Global Competitiveness

(World Competitiveness Yearbook 2021)

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