Malaysia has established itself as one of the most trade friendly countries in the world, exporting a competitive range of products and services to more than 200 countries and territories around the world. It is today an integral part of the global supply chain and recognised by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as the world’s 25th trading nation and 26th largest exporter and importer in 2019. 

Malaysia has also ensured that it has kept up with the rapidly transforming technologies utilised in the global trade, commerce and financial sectors. Today, it is capable of conducting business efficiently and effectively within the knowledge and digital economy. 

Image courtesy of MATRADE

The country currently exports high value-added products in various sectors including in technology, electrical and electronic parts, chemicals & chemical products, petrochemicals, optical & scientific equipment, medical devices, machinery, equipment & parts, automotive & aerospace components, building materials, renewable energy, processed food, furniture and lifestyle products besides traditional commodity exports such as oil & gas and palm oil-based products as well as rubber-based products. These items are primarily exported to Malaysia’s main trade destinations of ASEAN, China, the United States, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, the Republic of Korea as well as the European Union.

Among Malaysia’s strengths is that it is a pioneer in the area of Halal, with extensive expertise on Halal Standards and an industry that is being recognised internationally. Its Department of Islamic Development Malaysia or JAKIM’s Halal certification is highly regarded by multi-national bodies and world bodies. 

The importance it places on its Halal products is also reflected in the adoption of various elements of sustainability including in economic growth, the equitable distribution of wealth as well as recognising the need for environmental conservation. 

Malaysian Electrical and Electronics companies are leading players globally with a significant amount of all electronic exports being contributed by semiconductor devices, integrated circuits (ICs) and transistors and valves. These companies are also capable exporters in their own right and specialise in various areas including electronic manufacturing services, wafer fabrication, IC designs, assembly and much more. 

Image courtesy of MATRADE

ICT is another important sector for Malaysian exports and include electronic government solutions, electronic commerce solutions, software development and system integration for banking, finance, insurance, healthcare and education among a range of many other services. 

Malaysia’s many other areas of export include the digital content sector, game art production and various aspects of audio-visual production for the film and computer industries. 

Its export of machinery currently includes specialised process, metalworking, power generation and general industrial machinery among other things. The country is also the largest manufacturer of boilers in Southeast Asia, with the capability to manufacture and supply high-grade and internationally accepted industrial boilers. 

Recognised as possessing one of the most developed chemical industries in the world, Malaysia supplies a variety of products including polymers of ethylene, methanol and saturated polyesters. 

The country’s construction and professional services sector has also established itself as a major global player, having completed a variety of projects abroad including in the construction of buildings and infrastructure, roads and highways, railways and bridges, oil and gas installations, water treatment and power plants, airports and more. This sector has the strong support of the building materials industry, which produces a wide array of quality items for the building and construction industries, as well as the renovation and refurbishing sectors. 

The aerospace industry is another area in which Malaysia has been showing tremendous growth potential including in the MRO, machinery and design engineering sectors, and the country is poised to carve a niche for itself in this highly specialised field. 

Malaysia’s Oil and Gas Industry is today among the most dynamic in the region and includes the provision of specialty services such as engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning & installation (EPCCI), fabrication of offshore oil and gas related structures and various other logistics, infrastructure, storage and management requirements. 

Image courtesy of MATRADE

Food is another sector in which Malaysia excels and the largest export category here is edible products and preparations consisting of sauces, soya-based preparations and extracts and concentrates that are used as food ingredients. 

Malaysia has also established itself as a world leader in furniture design and manufacture with over 80% of its output exported to over 160 countries including kitchen and bedroom furniture, upholstered furniture with wooden frame and office furniture. 

Other major areas of export include Malaysia’s vibrant fashion industry, healthcare including hospital, medical and dental services, and franchising including in F&B, car sales, service centres, retail and supermarkets, IT and a wide range of other business opportunities.

The country’s well-deserved reputation for the export of quality products and services is only possible given the support it receives from the logistics industry, with a well-developed and complete chain of service providers that include warehousing, transportation, freight forwarding and other related value-added services such as distribution and supply chain management. 

Image courtesy of MATRADE

The tagline, “Choose Malaysia”, aptly describes the country’s capabilities, quality products and services, and its ability to help you do better business. 

For more information about MATRADE, please visit www.matrade.gov.my. 

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This article was first published on 4 September 2021 in our Weekly E-Paper issue 157

THE BRUNEIAN | SABAH, MALAYSIA

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