Abhinav Kumar
Abhinav Kumar

Country Expert

Malaysia Statistics

The economy of Malaysia is the fourth largest in Southeast Asia, after Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines and is the 35th largest economy in the world. Labour productivity in Malaysia is significantly higher than in neighbouring Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines or Vietnam due to a high density of knowledge-based industries and adoption of cutting-edge technology for manufacturing and digital economy.
According to the Global Competitiveness Report 2019, the Malaysian economy is the 27th most competitive country in the world. Malaysian citizens enjoy affluent lifestyle compared to almost all other ASEAN countries, in which only Singapore and Brunei managed to rival over.
$ 1 Crores
GDP in USD trillion
1 Crores
Population (2019)
Area ( km. sq. )
Import Of Malaysia

In 2018 Malaysia imported a total of $212B, making it the number 25th trade destination in the world.
Main Import Countries

Export Of Malaysia

In 2018 Malaysia exported a total of $270B, making it the number 20th exporter in the world.
Main Export Countries

Major Sectors

Electrical and Electronics Automotive Agriculture Energy Construction

The electrical and electronics (E&E) sector is the number one contributor to the manufacturing industry in Malaysia. Data shows that the sector accounted for about 32.8% of the total exports in 2013 while providing employment to about 27.2% of the total workforce in the same year. The E&E sector is responsible for fulfilling the insatiable need that the world has for technological equipment like mobile devices, storage devices, optoelectronics, and embedded technologies.
Within the larger sector of the E&E industry, there is a smaller sector that specializes in the production of electrical components. Under this smaller sector, the production includes things like semiconductor gadgets, printed circuits, passive components, and a few other things. In this sub-sector, the leading industry in the export business for the larger E&E sector is the one for semiconductor devices. In 2013, this sub-sector accounted for about 47% of the total exports from the E&E sector. So far, the nation is a major hub for global firms, which are more than 50. Some of the notable names that have branches there include Intel, AMD, ASE, Texas Instruments, and others. Firms that have Malaysia owners in this sub-sector include the likes of Globetronics, Green Packet, and a few others.

This industry is well developed with a total of 27 producers of vehicles and a total of 640 manufacturers of automotive components or parts. In Southeast Asia, the industry is the third largest while it ranks in the 23rd position on a grander global scale. In a single year, the sector churns out well over half a billion vehicles. About 4% (around $9 billion) of the total Malaysian GDP comes from this sector, which is responsible for the provision of employment of more than 700,000 Malaysians from all over the nation.
With the establishment of the two car companies (Proton and Perodua), Malaysia became the first nation in Southeast Asia to have an indigenous automotive firm. Further history for Malaysia was made in 2002 after Proton made Malaysia the 11th country in the globe to manufacture cars from the start to the finish. Essentially, this involves coming up with a design for the car, engineering the car, and finally manufacturing. Joint venture companies also exist between the locals and foreign investors. While the sector mainly services the local populace, the number of exports to other countries has been steadily going up every year.

Agriculture is now a minor sector of the Malaysian economy, accounting for 7.1% of Malaysia's GDP in 2014 and employing 11.1% of Malaysia's labour force, contrasting with the 1960s when agriculture accounted for 37% of Malaysia's GDP and employed 66.2% of the labour force. The crops grown by the agricultural sector has also significantly shifted from food crops like paddy and coconut to industrial crops like palm oil and rubber, which in 2005 contributed to 83.7% of total agricultural land use, compared to 68.5% in 1960.
In March 2019, the European Commission concluded that palm oil cultivation results in excessive deforestation and its use in transport fuel should be phased out by 2030.

Malaysia holds proven oil reserves of 4 billion barrels as of January 2014, the fourth-highest reserves in Asia-Pacific after China, India, and Vietnam. Nearly all of Malaysia's oil comes from offshore fields. The continental shelf is divided into three producing basins: the basin offshore Eastern Peninsular Malaysia in the west and the Sarawak and Sabah basins in the east. Most of the country's oil reserves are located in the Peninsular basin and tend to be light and sweet crude. Malaysia's benchmark crude oil, Tapis Blend, is a light and sweet crude oil, with an API gravity of 42.7° and a sulphur content of 0.04% by weight.
Malaysia also holds 83 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of proven natural gas reserves as of January 2014, and was the third-largest natural gas reserve holder in the Asia-Pacific region after China and Indonesia. More than half of the country's natural gas reserves are located in its eastern areas, predominantly offshore Sarawak. Most of Malaysia's gas reserves are associated with oil basins, although Sarawak and Sabah have an increasing amount of non-associated gas reserves that have offset some of the declines from mature oil and gas basins offshore Peninsular Malaysia.

The relatively large industry is worth well over $32 billion. The erection of non-residential buildings contributed the largest share at 34.6%. This share was closely followed by the civil engineering sub-sector with 30.6%, then by residential building with 29.7%, and special trades with 5.1%.
Looking at the states of Malaysia, the highest value of construction undertakings was recorded in the state of Selangor with a contribution of 24.5%. The state of Johor is second with 16.5%, followed by Kuala Lumpur with 15.8%, then Sarawak with 8.6%, and then Penang with 6.4%. In total, these top five states accounted for just over 70% of the total worth of construction projects in Malaysia.
The major capital expenditure projects have been one of the driving forces behind the expansion of this sector in Malaysia. Other key factors are government efforts and mega-projects between the public and private sectors such as Iskandar Malaysia, KVMRT, and Tun Razak Exchange.

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