Trading in Malaysia is very straightforward. Whether you are a foreign or local company involved in any form of trading, you will need to follow a similar set of regulations enforced by the government of Malaysia.
Like many other countries around the region, Malaysia has a strong trading network due to its strategic location between the sea pathways. This has been the case for centuries dating back to the Malacca Sultanate when merchants and traders from China, India and the Middle East ported here. Today, Malaysia continues to trade with countries around the world with the United States being one of the main partners.
Malaysia is a member of the major trade organizations like APEC, ASEAN and WTO and is one of the founding members of the ASEAN Free Trade Zone in which Free Trade Agreements have already been signed between Malaysia with the likes of China, Japan and Pakistan, among others.
For decades now, Malaysia has been the largest producer of rubber and palm oil in the world.
The main products exported by Malaysia include petroleum and liquefied natural gas, wood-related products, electronic equipment and components, textiles, chemicals, rubber and palm oil. Its main export partners are Singapore, China, the United States, Japan, Thailand and Hong Kong.
Malaysia exported a total of RM719.81 billion in 2013. This was a 2.4% increase from the year before that saw Malaysia exporting a total of RM702.64 billion. Of the total, Malaysia exports Electrical and Electronic Products the most with a total of RM236.76 billion or 32.9% of the total.
- Export of Refined Petroleum products in 2013 was at RM65.36 billion which increased from RM51.49 billion the year before. This makes up 9.1% of the total exports.
- LNG made up 8.2% of total exports at RM59.19 billion while 6.6% of total exports came from Chemicals and Chemical Products which recorded a total of RM47.72 billion.
- As the largest palm oil producer in the world, Malaysia exported RM45.94 billion of palm oil in 2013 which is 6.4% of the total exports.
- A total of RM31.64 billion worth of Crude Petroleum was exported that year that made up 4.4% of the total.
- Manufactures of Metal constituted 3.9% of the total exports that recorded a total of RM28.17 billion while 3.8% of total exports came from Machinery, Appliances and Parts.
- Optical and Scientific Equipment constituted 2.9% of total exports with Rubber Products recording a total of RM18.94 billion or 2.6% of the total.
- 04 billion or the remaining 19.2% of exports came from other products.
The main commodities that Malaysia imports include electronics, machinery, plastic-related products, chemicals, iron and steel-related products and vehicles. It has a strong working relationship with importers from China in particular, Japan, the United States, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Taiwan, among others.
The total imports for the year ending 2013 was at RM649.19 billion which increased by 7% from 2012 which ended with RM606.68 billion. 2013 saw the highest import of products coming in from Electrical and Electronic Products which recorded at RM179.62 billion which constituted 27.7%.
- Refined Petroleum Products constituted 11.1% that recorded RM71.82 billion while 8.6% of total imports came from Chemicals and Chemical Products (RM55.86 billion)
- Machinery, Appliances and Parts constituted 8.4% of total imports which was at RM54.57 billion
- 5% of total imports came from Transport Equipment while Manufactures of Metal clocked in RM40.96 billion or 6.3%
- Import of Iron and Steel Products were 6.3% of the total bringing in RM40.96 billion in 2013
- A total of RM21.87 billion worth of Crude Petroleum were imported while RM17.96 billion of Optical and Scientific Equipment were imported
- 4% of the total import worth RM15.58 billion came from processed food