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Population - 31,528,580

2016 Malaysia population by gender & age

GDP per






Flight Time

From LA

21 Hours

Flight Time

From NYC

21 Hours


Malaysia’s per capita income translated into purchasing power per capita terms, it is the third highest in ASEAN, after Singapore and Brunei, at approximately US$28,700


By December 2017, Malaysia reported it population size to be 32 million. According to Bank Negara Malaysia (Malaysia’s Central Bank), Malaysia’s 2017 GDP is RM1,353,381 million (US$338,345 million).  Looking back, its 2016 GDP was RM1,230,121 million (US$298,573 million), RM1,062,805 million (US$272.5 million) in 2015, and RM1,012,506 million (US$306,820 million) in 2014. The World Bank classifies Malaysia as an upper-middle income nation. Malaysia’s total trade for 2017 was $413 billion. This is a 15.2 percent increase in value compared to 2016.


According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, in 2016, the U.S. direct investment position in Malaysia was US$13.9 billion, a decrease of 7.2 percent from 2015.



For centuries, Malaysia has profited from its location at a crossroads of trade between the East and West, a tradition that carries into the 21st century. Geographically blessed, peninsular Malaysia stretches the length of the Strait of Malacca, one of the most economically and politically important shipping lanes in the world. Capitalizing on its location, Malaysia has been able to transform its economy from an agriculture and mining base in the early 1970s to a relatively high-tech, competitive nation, where services and manufacturing now account for 73 percent of GDP.


Malaysia’s level of economic development drives both consumer and business demand for products and services. Its consumers, though price sensitive, are accustomed to several decades of strong growth. Thus, they are attracted to and are familiar with international branded products, better education, quality healthcare products and services, as well as ecological lifestyle offerings.




  • Malaysia is an oil and gas producing country and the government budget is impacted by the price movement of this commodity.

  • Over the past few years Malaysia’s currency, the Ringgit (RM), experienced downward pressure; however, since the beginning of 2018, it has been strengthening to US$1 = RM3.94.

  • Strategically located along the Straits of Malacca

  • Malaysia has a highvisa approval rate (approximately 96 percent) and a 10-year maximum validity visa make it easy for your business partners to travel to the United States.


Treaties & Agreements

Given Malaysia’s reliance on international trade, Malaysia has adopted liberal trade policies and puts a high emphasis on regional and bilateral trade agreements.


Malaysia joined the General Agreement on Trade and Tariff (GATT) in 1957, and was therefore a founding member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), which replaced the GATT. Malaysia has established bilateral Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with the following countries: Australia, Chile, India, Japan, New Zealand, Pakistan, and Turkey.


Malaysia and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, ASEAN Regional Forum, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. Malaysia and the United States participate in the East Asia Summit.

Overview of Opportunities in Malaysia

Relevant Industries to Focus On

Actionable Data, Insights & Resources

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U.S. Candy Bouquet Company Exporting to Malaysia

US Candy Bouquet Company Exporting

U.S. Holistic Healthcare Company Exporting to Malaysia

US Holistic Healthcare Company Exporting



Agriculture Icon of Experts for Malaysia



Environmental Technology Icon of Experts for Malaysia

Gas, Oil and


Gas Oil and Petroleum Icon of Experts for Malaysia



Information Technology Icon of Experts for Malaysia