A Land of Opportunities -Invest in Malaysia - MIDA | Malaysian Investment Development Authority
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A Land of Opportunities -Invest in Malaysia

Welcome to Malaysia, Where Thriving Opportunities Abound

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. Malaysia’s strong and sustainable economic foundation, its business-ready environment, forward-looking focus, and dynamic workforce have made it an attractive, cost-competitive investment location in the region. It is quickly becoming a preferred centre for shared services and leading technology industries.

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

Population
33.4 million (2023e)

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.

Solid Economic Foundation

Malaysia has a well-diversified economy and export structure, a supportive labour market, a track record of low and stable inflation, a robust and well-capitalized financial sector, and a positive net cash flow.

Malaysia Key Economic Indicators (2022):

USD252 billion

(RM1,110 billion)
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
USD370.6 billion (2021)

9.3%

Real GDP Growth (%)
3.1% (2021)

USD11,746

(RM53,379)
GNI per capita at current prices
USD11,043.4 (2021)

3.3%

Inflation (%)
2.5% (2021)

3.8~4.0%

Unemployment rate
4.6% (2021)

USD114.6 billion

International Reserves
USD116.9 billion (2021)

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

Centre of South-East Asia – Market access of over 660 million people with combined GDP of US$3.3 trillion (ASEAN Stats, 2022)


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

Once reliant on agriculture and primary commodities, our economy has undergone a remarkable transformation into an export-driven and diversified powerhouse, powered by advanced technology, catalytic innovation, knowledge-based industries, and a comprehensive digital economy. This dynamic shift has paved the way for a robust ecosystem supported by mature and integrated supply chains that fosters the growth of businesses like yours.

Industry Brief: Overall Private Investments in Malaysia in 2022

Our manufacturing sector holds a pivotal position within the global supply chain, contributing significantly to international trade and commerce. Concurrently, the service sector comprehensively encapsulates and caters to diverse domestic activities, fostering economic growth and development within Malaysia.

 

Malaysia is a strategic business hub in Southeast Asia, boasting a diverse range of sectors supported by a skilled workforce. The country is well-connected to global markets and supply chains, offering a favourable business environment. It is the ideal place to start or expand your business.

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 99% of total products have 0% import duties under Malaysia’s FTAs with ASEAN.

Reduced trade barriers drive down business costs, granting companies preferential access to seize growth opportunities in one of the world’s largest trading blocs.

Expanding Horizons Through RCEP

Malaysia is one of the 15 signatory nations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the world’s largest free trade agreement – representing 30% of the global population and 30% of global GDP and is expected to rise up to 50% by 2030. This agreement is set to foster cooperation, drive economic recovery, and create a liberal and competitive investment environment. With RCEP’s member countries among Malaysia’s top trading partners, it promises enhanced investment facilitation and investor aftercare, amplifying opportunities for growth.

 

RCEP seeks to create a mutually beneficial economic partnership as it aims to boost trade, investment, connectivity, and regional economic integration, driving the region’s recovery.

Broadening Market Access with CPTPP

In addition to RCEP, Malaysia is also one of the 11 signatory nations of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). In this holistic free trade agreement (FTA), Malaysia collaborates with countries representing 13.4% of the global GDP. The CPTPP will place Malaysia in a strategic position and elevate the country’s competitiveness in the global arena by broadening its access to new markets such as Canada, Mexico, and Peru, which are not covered by any existing FTA.

 

Under the CPTPP, almost 100% of Malaysian exports to all CPTPP countries would enjoy duty-free treatment by 2033.

Malaysia's Global Standing

Malaysia’s Global Accolades

Malaysia, one of the fastest-growing nations in the region, is ranked among the top emerging markets for investment. Renowned for its investor protection and responsiveness in facilitating business needs, Malaysia is your ideal destination for investments and business ventures.

1st

Top country in emerging Southeast Asia for Foreign investment

(Global Opportunity Index, Bloomberg 2022)

1st

Most potential to attract foreign investors among emerging South-East Asia

(Milken Institute Global Opportunity Index 2022)

2nd

Most competitive country in ASEAN

(World Competitiveness Yearbook 2023, IMD)

3rd

Most innovative upper middle-income economy in the world

(Global Innovation Index 2022, World Intellectual Property Organization [WIPO])

4th

Most competitive emerging market

(Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index 2022)

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