Export Britain


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Ease of trading across borders

Importing a standard container of goods into Malaysia requires:



Malaysia since its independence in 1957 has shown tremendous economic capacity that has propelled it to be a key player in the region being classified as a Tiger Cub Economy. As a member of the Commonwealth, the country’s strategic geographic location in South East Asia coupled with its Anglo-Saxon blueprint makes it a luring destination for businesses from the west, particularly the UK.

Economic snapshot (% annual growth rate)

GDP 6.0 5.0 4.2
Export of goods and services 5.1 0.7 4.9
Import of goods and services 4.2 1.3 5.1
Inflation 3.1 2.1 2.6
Exchange rate (per $) 3.27 3.91 4.22
Population 1.5 1.4 1.3
Source: Oxford Economics

Economic outlook

The pace of growth in the first quarter of 2013 slowed to 4.1%, due to the continued contraction in the external sector and, surprisingly decelerating private investment. Nonetheless, private consumption remained robust, providing the necessary support for aggregate domestic demand. Domestic demand will continue powering growth of the Malaysian economy, with growth of 4.8% expected for 2013. Growth outlook for 2014 is projected to be between 5.0-5.5%, on account of weak global economic outlook, generally tight fiscal and financial conditions and enhanced downside risks.

Trade outlook

Malaysia’s trade growth will be dominated by emerging markets, particularly in Asia. The fastest growth in exports will be to India, Vietnam, China and Indonesia. Exports to some Middle East markets are also expected to perform strongly, led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Exports to some large Latin American economies such as Brazil and Argentina is expected to slow, while imports from Mexico, India and Vietnam are forecast to grow particularly strongly.

Cultural tips

Essential Customs tips

The de minimis value is 500 MYR.

When shipping cologne and perfume, nonprescription drugs, cosmetics and medical samples you will need to obtain import approval from Malaysia’s Department of Pharmaceutical Services and/or Ministry of Health.

SWOT analysis

Economic and social stability
Attractive tax and other incentives
Legal and accounting practices based on the British system
Political uncertainity
high-income status by 2020
Moving up the value-added chain
Slowdown in the global economy

Malaysia's trade with the UK

Sector segmentation growth

Sectors to watch:
  • chemicals & fertilisers
  • electronic components & boards
  • computers & office equipment
  • motor vehicle bodies & parts
  • machine tools

Fastest-growing exporters into Malaysia

1 Mexico
2 Vietnam
3 India
4 China
5 France
6 Indonesia
7 Egypt
8 Korea
9 Hong Kong
10 Poland

Total merchandise trade - Leading import partners

Total merchandise trade - leading import partners
Opportunities for UK businesses

Education is a growing sector in Malaysia. Through collaborations with foreign universities, Malaysia has become a regional education hub for all tiers of education. The country’s kinship with the UK has created a natural inclination for a UK based syllabus. Malaysia’s Islamic demographic makeup has allowed the halal industry to meet greater standards and dictate best practices at an international level.

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Your local Chamber provides a range of export services and links to overseas markets.
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