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Malaysia has a stable politic and economic environment which ensures sustainable growth in private and public sectors. Since its independence in 1957, Malaysia has developed from agriculture & primary commodities focused economy to an economy which is driven by manufacturing and high technology industry. In recent years, there is progressive development in areas such as information and communication (ICT), biotechnology, nanotechnology and other new innovations.
Dynamic Business Environment
Malaysia is situated in the heart of Southeast Asia, bordered by Thailand in the north, Indonesia in the south, and the Philippines in the east. Malaysia is strategically located along the Strait of Malacca, which is a major sea-route connecting the Far East to Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. This offers a cost-competitive location for investors intending to expand business into ASEAN markets. Supported by market oriented economy, Malaysia offers investors a vibrant business environment for growth and profits. Malaysia provides also attractive incentives for local and foreign investors.
As a fast-developing country, many industries in Malaysia are flourishing. This helps promoting the growth of research and development (R&D) sectors and creating immense opportunities in the laboratory and scientific businesses.
Chemical & chemical products is one of the leading industries in Malaysia. Chemical industry is a capital intensive industry which requires well trained and skilful resources for R&D activities. It is a very important element that contributes to products and technology innovations. In year 2014, it has recorded a rise of 5 % to RM52 billion, compared to RM46.5 billion in year 2013. As the third largest import sector, chemicals and chemical products contributed 9.1% to Malaysia’s total import. Besides, this category ranks 4th position as the largest contributor to Malaysia’s total exports in 2014. The main export destinations for chemicals and chemical products are China, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and India.
Oil, Gas and Energy (OGE) Industry
Malaysia is the world’s second largest exporter of liquefied natural gas and the second largest oil and natural gas producer in Southeast Asia. The Oil, Gas and Energy Sector has been identified as one of the National Key Economic Asia (NKEA). This sector is targeting 5% annual growth in the decade from 2010 to 2020, which will contribute an increase of RM131.4 billion from year 2010 to 2020. Petroleum products are the main contributor of Malaysia’s total exports (RM634.75 billion). In year 2014, petroleum products contributed RM60.2 billion, which is 9.5% of the total export. Followed by liquefied natural gas (LPG), which accounted 8.3% or RM52.74 billion of the total export. On the other hand, Malaysia imported petroleum products worth total of RM60.2 billion, palm oil worth RM39.65 billion and crude petroleum worth RM 28.65 billion in year 2014. Currently, there are over 3,500 oil and gas businesses in Malaysia comprising of international O&G companies, independents, services and manufacturing companies.
To support the needs in the rapid-developing OGE industry in Malaysia, plenty resources are required for the vast R&D activities.
Research and Development
Malaysia has a stronghold in the manufacturing sector which provide extensive opportunities for the growth of R&D within the country. Various incentives are available to support the R&D industry such as corporate tax exemption, double deduction on expenses for the use of facilities and services of approved research institution or companies, double deductions on cash contribution to research institutions, double deduction on revenue expenditure for approved research projects and exemption on import duty and sales tax on machine/equipment materials, raw materials, component parts and samples used for R&D activities.
Healthcare Industry (Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices)
The pharmaceutical industry is an important component of the healthcare sector in Malaysia.
As the member of Pharmaceutical Inspection Convention and Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-Operation Scheme (PIC/S), Malaysia has been recognised to have high pharmaceutical manufacturing standards. The local government has also identified the domestic pharmaceutical as a strategic industry which should be promoted. To further support the development of the pharmaceutical industry in Malaysia, the government has increased the efforts to develop the clinical trial services sector. Under the purview of the National Institute of Health of Ministry of Health (MOH), a Clinical Research Centre (CRC) has been established to conduct clinical trials, clinical epidemiology and economic research, and manage complex medical databases. Due to the high growth potential and strong government support, Malaysia is in high demands for pharmaceutical instrument and laboratory equipment for further research and development activities.
Medical devices industry is also one of the industries that has been included under the Healthcare NKEA. The industry is expected to create RM17.12 billion in revenue by year 2020. With the strong presence of supporting industries which meet the needs of medical devices industry such as sterilisation services, medical packaging, precision engineering and more, as well as the support from government, Malaysia has been positioned as an ideal country for medical devices manufacturing and global supplier of parts & components. Thus, Malaysia has high potential to be developed into a medical devices hub, for both manufacturing and R&D in Asia.
Halal Food Industry
The global market value for Halal food worth USD1.1 trillion in year 2013 and is estimated to reach USD1.6 trillion in year 2018. Malaysia, as an international recognised Muslim country, has the edge to be the hub for promotion, distribution and production of Halal food. The concept of Halal is linked with food products which are high quality in terms of cleanliness and sanitation. The requirements must be complied to all stages of the food production and supply chain, including procurement of raw materials and ingredients, processing and manufacturing, logistics and transportation, packaging and labelling. Hence, food analysis and food testing have become the major sectors that support the growth of Halal F&B industry. Furthermore, the increasing public awareness of food safety and healthy diet are also driving the growth of the food laboratory sectors.
– Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE)
– Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MIT)
– Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA)