Malaysia Briefing

Discover our latest insights into Malaysia including business news, regulatory updates and extensive data on Malaysia free trade, double tax agreements and foreign direct investment laws.

A federal constitutional monarchy, Malaysia consists of 13 states and three federal territories. It's territory is separated by the South China Sea into two similarly sized regions, Peninsular Malaysia to the west and Malaysian Borneo to the east. Land borders are shared with Thailand, Indonesia, and Brunei, and maritime borders exist with Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines. Malaysia's capital city is Kuala Lumpur, with Putrajaya as the seat of the federal government.

Malaysia's economy focused predominantly on the mining and agriculture sectors in the 1970s, before transitioning to a more multi-sector economy throughout the 1980s. Malaysia's international trade, facilitated by its close proximity to the Strait of Malacca, and manufacturing are key sectors of the country's economy.

Malaysia is an exporter of natural and agricultural resources, and at one time was the largest producer of tin, rubber and palm oil in the world. Malaysia has been making an effort to diversify its economy to be less dependent on exported goods, and, as a result, has pushed to increase tourism, a sector that has grown into Malaysia's third largest source of income.

Malaysia's imports include electronics, machinery, petroleum products, plastics, vehicles, iron and steel products and chemicals. Its exports include electronic equipment, petroleum and liquefied natural gas, timber and wood products, palm oil, rubber, textiles and chemicals.

Major export partners of Malaysia are China (13.1 percent), Singapore (12.7 percent), Japan (11.5 percent), the United States (8.3 percent), Thailand (5.1 percent), Hong Kong (4.5 percent) and India (4.1 percent). Major import partners include China (13.2 percent), Singapore (12.8 percent), Japan (11.4 percent), the United States (9.7 percent), Indonesia (6.1 percent), Thailand (6 percent) and South Korea (4 percent).

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  • Asian Alliance
    Member

    Christopher Heng

    Country of Origin: Malaysia
    Title: Partner
    Office: Kuala Lumpur Office

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