Since independence, Malaysia has had one of the best economic records in Asia, with GDP growing at an average 6.5% per annum for almost 50 years. The economy has traditionally been fuelled by its natural resources, but is expanding in the sectors of science, tourism, commerce and medical tourism.
Additionally, Malaysia has always been a preferred destination to many multinational companies. To date there are over 3,600 MSC-status companies from more than 40 countries operating in Malaysia. Having built such strong economic foundation, Malaysia is on track to achieve its vision of becoming a high-income country by 2020.
The Malaysian economy grew by 5.3% in the first half of 2015, driven by resilient domestic demand. Private sector expenditure contributed 5.3 percentage points to growth. Private investment and consumption remained robust growing by 7.5% and 7.6%, respectively.
On the supply side, growth was mainly driven by the services and manufacturing sectors contributing 3 and 1.1 percentage points, respectively. With strong economic fundamentals, including resilient domestic demand, diversified sources of growth, low unemployment rate and benign inflation coupled with pro-growth fiscal and accommodative monetary policies, real GDP is projected to grow between 4.5% - 5.5% in 2015 (2014: 6%). Nominal GNI is estimated to increase by 5.5% to RM1.13 trillion with income per capita rising by 4.2% to RM36,397 (2014: 8.6%, rm1.07 trillion; 7.2%, RM34,945).
With its skilled and culturally diverse workforce, a comprehensive communication and transportation infrastructure, efficient tax regime, strong governance structure and a sound regulatory framework, Malaysia absolutely offers many advantages as an investment destination.
In addition of being ranked 9th for competitiveness for labour efficiency, Malaysia is also ranked:
Malaysia has also been recognized as having the most developed and sophisticated ecosystem for Islamic economy out of the 70 countries surveyed in Thomson Reuters’ The State of Global Islamic Economy 2014/2015 Report. It tops four of the six sub-sectors including the higher weighted Islamic finance, halal food, halal tourism, and pharmaceuticals and cosmetics sectors. With well-developed legal and regulatory framework, robust Shariah governance, facilitative tax framework and capability of local intermediaries in originating, arranging and distributing sukuk, the Malaysian sukuk market has attracted both local as well as foreign issuers including multilateral financial institutions in issuing Ringgit and foreign currency-denominated sukuk.
Today, Malaysia is a newly industrialised market economy, ranked third largest in Southeast Asia and 29th largest in the world. It is a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the East Asia Summit and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and a member of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to name a few.