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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 (2020e)

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

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

Parliamentary democracy
constitutional monarch

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

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 (2020):

USD333.5 bil

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
USD348.2 bil (2019)

-5.6%

Real GDP Growth (%)
4.4% (2019)

USD10,546.7 bil

Per capita income
USD11,078.5 bil (2019)

-1.2%

Inflation (%)
0.7% (2019)

4.5%

Unemployment rate
3.3% (2019)

USD107.7 billion

International Reserves
USD103.6 bil (2019)

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 Southeast Asia


The average ASEAN real GDP growth in 2021 is forecasted at 5.1%

(Economic Outlook Southeast Asia, China and India 2021, OECD)


Centre of Southeast Asia

Market Access of over 650 million people with combined GDP of US$3.2 trillion (ASEANstats, 2020)


Well-connected to major ports in Asia

Reaching Mumbai, India within 6hours 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 13 Free Trade Agreements

Creating potential market size of 3.9 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 

Poised to become the world’s largest single market by 2030 (UNCTAD’s 2020 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 become more visible in the past two decades. We continue to be an attractive location for businesses across various industries. Malaysia’s diversified sectors offer abundant opportunities to 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 3.9 billion people. 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.

Malaysia's Global Standing

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

Malaysia is one of the world’s fastest growing regions. 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.

5th

Most Attractive Emerging Market in 2021

(Bloomberg, 2021)

2nd

Ease of Doing Business within ASEAN

(World Bank Doing Business Report 2020)

Protecting Investors

(World Bank Doing Business Report 2020)

2nd

Trade and Connectivity in Southeast Asia

(DHL Global Connectedness Index 2020)

4th

Most Competitive as A Manufacturing Hub (among 17 economies)

(Cost of Manufacturing Operations, KPMG and The Manufacturing Institute, 2020)

6th

Talent Employability

(Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2020, GTCI 2020)

12th

Ease of Doing Business

(World Bank Doing Business 2020 Report)

2nd

Ease of Protecting Minority Investors

(Global Innovation Index 2020, World Intellectual Property Organisation, WIPO)

14th

University & Industry Research Collaboration

(Global Innovation Index 2020, World Intellectual Property Organisation, WIPO)

7th

Market Capitalisation and State of Cluster Development

(Global Innovation Index 2020, World Intellectual Property Organisation, WIPO)

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