Malaysia Country Information flag

Malaysia Country Profile

Recommendations:

Malaysia has a relatively open, growing economy with a skilled, generally English speaking labor force. Despite its comparatively small population, Malaysia is an easy country for foreign companies conducting global trade. **Good choice for most businesses**

(+) Consistently strong economic growth over the last decade

(+) Generally English speaking population

(+) Ease of doing business and conducting international trade

(-) Productivity growth and domestic market size lags behind larger regional countries

(-) Internal political turmoil and ethnic tensions can create business challenges

(-) High cost of living in Kuala Lumpur

Highlights:

– 5%+ average GDP growth over last 10 years
– Top 20 country in English language capability; #3 of 24 countries in Asia
– Top 15% of countries on the Global Competitiveness Index
– Pro trade policies and low taxes

“Malaysia is one of the most open economies in the world with a trade to GDP ratio averaging over 130% since 2010. Openness to trade and investment has been instrumental in employment creation and income growth.”

World Bank, 2021

Country Facts:

Population:

33.5 million, 22.3 million working population

GDP:

$364.3 billion USD, 5 .0% growth

GNI per capita:

$11,230 USD, 0.6% Inflation (2019 ); upper middle income

Industries:

Rubber and oil palm processing, petroleum and natural gas, pharmaceuticals, medical technology, electronics and semiconductors, and timber processing

Tourism:

26.1M arrivals in 2019; #4 ranked country in Asia

#12/190

#51/180

61%

22.7 M

$7.1K USD

#20/100

39% NYC Prices

Ease of Doing Business

Corruption Perceptions Index

Human Capital Index

Working Age Population

Household Expenditure Per Capita

English Language Capabilities

Cost of Living Plus Rent Index

#12/190

#51/180

61%

22.7 M

$7.1K USD

#20/100

39% NYC Prices

Marketing:

Per capita expenditure:

$7,100 USD

Internet penetration:

67 % (Southeast Asia 63%)

Shop online:

35%

Mobile ownership:

159%

Primary messaging:

WhatsApp, Signal

Primary website:

Facebook

Average Labor:

Infrastructure:

Opening a Business:

Relevant Laws:

Companies Act of 2016, Companies Act (amended) of 2019

Time to Incorporate:

5-10 business days

Fees to Incorporate:

$500 USD ($250 government fee / $250 admin fees) for a standard business

Paid in Capital:

Ownership Dependent: 100% foreign ownership requires minimum $120-$250k depending on industry

Remittance Taxes:

Generally no taxes, depending on business activity and country of remittance

Restrictions:

100% foreign ownership is possible, with restrictions on certain industries to include medical, pharmaceutical, textiles, mineral, wood, and foodstuffs

Trends:

Malaysia has created tax and investment incentives to attract additional foreign investment in manufacturing and services; see www .mida.gov.my

BBA Services:

BBA has a small staff in Malaysia to include an attorney skilled in market entry procedures. BBA can assist SMEs in most sectors and find trusted local partners, among other local services.