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About Malaysia

Malaysia, home to a population of over 30 million, is one of the more developed economies in South East Asia. The economy, which is valued at US$ 302.7 billion, is well-diversified in terms of sources of growth and revenue owing to the economic, financial and fiscal reforms undertaken thus far by the government. The economy is expected to grow between 4.3 and 4.8% in 2017.

Business and consumer confidence has been boosted by the country’s strong economic performance, relatively low unemployment rates and the government’s commitment and initiatives to transform the economy. The country offers a competitive business environment, backed by its open investment policies and well-developed financial market.

Population: 30.95 million
Inflation Rate: 2%
Currency: Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)
Ave Exchange Rate: MYR 4.079: US$ 1
Imports: US$ 139.5 billion
Exports: US$ 167.3 billion
GDP: US$ 302.7 billion
GDP per capita (PPP) US$ 27,200
Real GDP Growth 4.2%
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This report is designed to provide an overview of the medical technologies sector in Malaysia. The healthcare sector has been designated as one of the key economic drivers in the country, that is expected to play a big role in helping Malaysia transform itself into a high-income country by 202...

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This report is designed to provide an overview of the smart cities sector in Malaysia.  By developing smart cities, Malaysia aims to be globally competitive not only from an economic standpoint, but also from environmental and social perspective standpoint. Among Malaysia’s key citi...

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Malaysia suffers from a fast-depleting water supply, with the World Resources Institute estimating that annual renewable water supply might fall to 10,000 m3/person/year by 2025. The wastewater and sewerage system is largely underdeveloped, due to concerns over costly operation...

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Malaysia Country Profile

The report offers a wide range of data and information collected from various sources that were built together in order to provide not just facts but deeper insights about the country. Unlike other country reports that focus more on macro-economic data, we think that the most valuable part of ...

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Malaysia Targets MYR 200 Billion In Approved Investments For 2019

Malaysia  -  March 2019

The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) is targeting total approved investments worth MYR 200 billion (USD 49.2 billion) for 2019 with a continued focus on hgh technology areas. During 2018, approved investments in the manufacturing, services and primary sectors stood at  MYR 201.7 billion (USD 49.6 billion), nearly the same as the MYR 200.6 billion (USD 49.4 billion) during 2017. Domestic direct investments accounted for around 60% of investment in 2018. Foreign investments were 48% higher than 2017.

Approved investments in manufacturing came up to MYR 87.4 billion (USD 21.5 billion) in 2018, 37.2% higher compared to MYR 63.7 billion (USD 15.7 billion) in 2017. The services and primary sectors recorded investments of MYR 103.4 billion and MYR 10.9 billion respectively in 2018.

Foreign investments in approved manufacturing projects more than doubled to MYR 58.0 billion (USD 14.3 billion) in 2018 from 2017’s figure of MYR 21.6 billion (USD 5.3 billion), constituting over 66% of the total approved investments in manufacturing.  China, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Japan and the USA contributed 76.4% of the total foreign manufacturing investments approved during the period.  A new manufacturing facility in Penang by Pentax Medical, one of the top three endoscopic and surgical system manufacturers in the world and a facility for Jinjing Technology from China that will be located at the Kulim Hi-Tech Park were among notable approved investmetns in 2018. 

The petroleum products including petrochemicals industry with approved investments of MYR 32.9 billion (USD 8.1 billion) made significant contribution to manufacturing performance. A notable project in this industry is Sarawak Petchem which is part of the Sarawak State Government initiative to develop Bintulu as a petrochemical hub. This is in addition to investments by Pengerang Energy Complex and Petronas Chemicals Isononanol that will be located in Johor.

In the services sector, foreign investments contributed around 16%, while the remaining 84% were domestic.  total of eight new Principal Hub (PH) projects were approved, with committed business spending of MYR 7.1 billion. Among the approved PH projects were Smart Modular Technologies, Frencken Group, Onwards Media Group and Jobstreet.

Investments in the primary sector registered a decline of 12.2% largely due to lower investments in oil and gas exploration activities, under the mining subsector. 

(Source: The Star Online; The Sun Daily)

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Maxis and Huawei Collaborating On 5G Trial In Malaysia

Malaysia  -  March 2019

Malaysian telco, Maxis, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Huawei on 25 February to accelerate 5G technology in Malaysia. The MoU is about the two companies cooperating on a full 5G trial with end-to-end systems and services, was inked during the 2019 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Subsequently in the first week of March, Maxis initiated the first 5G live trials in the country to be conducted over six months in Cyberjaya. The trials will provide a deeper analysis of 5G characteristics, including the use of spectrum in higher bands, co-existence with current services, as well as use cases such as Gigabit high speed Mobile Internet and Ultra High-Definition Virtual Reality (VR) applications. As of 7 March, Maxis had recorded close to 3Gbps download speed. 

The trial also follows the recent announcement by the Government that Cyberjaya and Putrajaya will become the first smart cities in Malaysia to experience 5G technology. 

5G is expected to provide speeds up to 10 times higher than what 4G network can do today for applications such as Ultra High-Definition VR and 360 degree viewing. It will also open up new use cases in areas such as AI, robotics and drones. 

(Source: Digital News Asia; FMT News; Maxis)

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TNB, PWD To Collaborate On Renewable Energy

Malaysia  -  March 2019

Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), the national utility company of Malaysia, is set to work with the Public Works Department (PWD) following the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate in five areas earlier this month.

One of the areas being considered is to undertake a feasibility study on the installation of rooftop solar by TNBX Sdn Bhd, a TNB’s subsidiary, on PWD buildings under TNB Solar Energy Purchase Program. Through the MoU TNB is expected to invest, design, install and maintain the solar rooftop photovoltaic (PV) system on PWD buildings throughout a 20 to 25 year contract period. The TNB Solar Energy Purchase program would benefit PWD as it would obtain clean electricity to meet its carbon reduction target without incurring any capital and gain from immediate electricity cost reduction at minimal risk. PWD would be billed for the electricity generated from the solar PV system at a lower rate than the normal TNB electricity tariff, aside from being able to sell back to TNB any excess energy generated from the system under the Net Energy Metering scheme.

The non-binding, non-exclusive three-year MoU was signed by TNBX Managing Director Ir. Nirinder Singh Johl, and the Deputy Director General (Specialist Sector) of PWD Ir. Kamaluddin Abdul Rashid. The four other areas covered in the MoU are Promotion of Green Technology by focusing on joint intentions in public awareness and outreach; Smart Nation by embarking on Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR 4.0) smart city solutions; Precision Operation by optimising asset management; and Research Excellence by conducting continuous research initiatives in renewable energy technology.

(Sources: The Sun Daily; BERNAMA; TNB)

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Malaysian Health Data Warehouse Completes Phase 2 Of Patient Data Collection

Malaysia  -  March 2019

A digital initiative by the Malaysian Ministry of Health, Malaysian Health Data Warehouse (MyHDW) system has completed its second phase of gathering information on outpatients from public and private facilities. The system collects data on people’s visits to any health care facility, inpatient visits, outpatient visits, visits to daycare unit services, as well as visits to clinical support groups like physiotherapy, speech, or audio. About 60 million visits have been recorded from 2.5 million inpatients. The anonymised data was collected from all government hospitals, military hospitals, and daycare unit services since 2017.

MyHDW was launched In October 2017 as a central system to house citizens’ health data. MyHDW was created with local technology developed by MIMOS, the national applied R&D agency for ICT in Malaysia. The data is structured for query and analysis purposes. MyHDW has the capability to generate reports, analyze and disseminate information through a dashboard, featuring disease-based KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).

The Health Ministry aspires to make evidence-based decision making in identifying disease trends or deciding on the need for extra health facilities in certain areas by collecting and analyzing data via MyHDW. MyHDW is now in the process of creating a “virtual environment” for researchers to access the data, as part of its third phase. 

(Source: The Malay Mail)

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Study On Use Of Plastic Waste To Pave Roads Under Way

Malaysia  -  March 2019

The Public Works Department (PWD) of Malaysia, through its Centre of Excellence for Engineering and Technology (CREATE), is studying road pavement technology utilizing asphalt from waste plastic and latex, in its effort to reduce maintenance costs of retarring conventional asphalts roads which are prone to pothole formation across the country. Two sites of road stretches in Temerloh, Pahang and Chukai, Terengganu, have been involved in the study.

At the Temerloh site, a lane of 175m was paved with a mixture of plastic waste and asphalt, while another stretch of 645m was paved with latex asphalt in September 2017. Three types of paving materials were used at the Kemaman site resurfacing work completed in October 2018, with waste plastic asphalt covering a 615m stretch of road, latex asphalt over a 990m stretch of road, and another 1,330m stretch of road paved by latex mastic asphalt. The study is expected to be concluded after two years of monitoring, but thus far according to PWD the initial observation is positive.

The department is said to be taking the lead from India, which has started to use plastic as an additional component when retarring roads for the past 15 years and found that these roads, currently stretching to about 25,000km across India, are more resilient than the conventional asphalt-paved roads. Indonesia was reported to have started with a similar study in 2017 in Bali. Based on PWD’s account around 2% of the kind of plastic waste generated in Malaysia is usable for the road paving industry, and the country would need to import such waste from countries like Australia and the United Kingdom if it decides to use waste plastic asphalt as a resurfacing material on a wider scale in the future.

(Sources: The Malay Mail; FMT News)

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Malaysia Discussing Possible Port Klang Expansion With China

Malaysia  -  March 2019

Malaysia and China are discussing the possibility of port expansion plans according to the Transport Minister of Malaysia. The government had identified Port Klang as its focus for expansion, given its status as the primary port of the country. The port had two operators, Westports Holdings Bhd and Northport (M) Bhd

The government has talked about expanding Port Klang for some time. It recently gave Westport the green light to expand. 

The previous Barisan Nasional administration had initially planned a third port on nearby Carey Island, as part of an USD 34 billion industrial hub project. In July 2018, the new Pakatan Harapan administration said that it would carry out a feasibility study on the proposed Carey Island port project

(Source: Malaysia Kini; Malay Mail)

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US-Incubated Solar Technology Launches At Hanwha Factory In Malaysia

Malaysia  -  March 2019

Massachusetts-based silicon wafer manufacturer 1366 Technologies with its strategic partner Hanhwa Q CELLS Malaysia Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of South Korean module manufacturer Hanhwa Q CELLS Co. Ltd. recently made a formal announcement of scaling plans for their wafer manufacturing plant in Cyberjaya, Selangor. The fab facility is expected to ramp up before September this year.

In what is set to be a cornerstone for multi-gigawatt-scale production facility, the world’s first production factory to feature Direct Wafer manufacturing process is erected next to Hanhwa’s existing cells and module facilities, where 1366 Technologies will utilize to manufacture its Direct Wafers on a gigawatt scale for less than USD 0.20 per piece. The products manufactured from the facility will be supplied directly to Hanhwa’s adjacent cell and module production lines, in keeping with Hanhwa’s effort to enhance products quality and innovate production process to deliver the most value to its customers.  

 (Sources: 1366 Technologies; PV Magazine; Solar Power World)

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Selangor Unveils Action Plan To Develop Aerospace Industry In the State

Malaysia  -  March 2019

The Selangor state through its investment promotion agency, Invest Selangor Berhad (Invest Selangor) has outlined about 30 action plans under a Selangor Aerospace Action Plan, to be carried out by both federal and state governments in order to position the state as a major hub for the aerospace industry in South East Asia, focusing on Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO).

Selangor has been the main hub for Malaysia’s aerospace and aviation industry as more than 62% of the Malaysian aerospace players are based within the state. The industry is strongly supported by a great demand from players in the Asia-Pacific region, which accounts for around 30% of the global aerospace and aviation activities and products.

Selangor has three main aerospace hubs located in Sepang, Subang and Serendah, housing more than 200 companies and two airports. The state plans to focus on these three existing hubs, as surrounding areas are still under-utilized. The state plans to provide a more conducive ecosystem for investors and evelop a fully integrated logistics system for the aviation and aerospace industry, leveraging IoT (Internet of Things). There are also plans to enhance the use of robotics in the sector. 

In line with the action plans, Selangor Berhad and UMW Development Sdn Bhd signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 5 March to attract local and international investors to the UMW High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Park in Serendah. The MoU is supposed to facilitate marketing and promotion efforts for the industrial park, and attract high value manufacturing industries, primarily in aerospace but also including other industries that require advanced manufacturing processes. UMW Aerospace has a fan case manufacturing facility for Rolls-Royce in the park, serving as a catalyst to draw in ecosystem stakeholders.

The state government is optimist that a combination of organic and inorganic growth could boost revenue from the aerospace industry in Selangor, in line with the Second Malaysia Aerospace Industry Blueprint 2030, to generate more than MYR 100 bil (USD 24.4 bill) by 2030.

(Sources: The Malaysian Reserve, The Star, The Malay Mail, The Sun Daily)

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First Korean Themed Retail Zone Launched In Malaysia

Malaysia  -  March 2019

The largest shopping mall in Malaysia, 1 Utama Shopping Centre has soft-launched the first Korean themed retail zone in the country. The venture is driven by the popularity of K-Pop and K-Drama among Malaysians especially the youth. Dubbed as District K, the four-level retail zone is located at the “1 Utama E” new extension of the mall, which focuses on sports tourism, entertainment and F&B offerings. Phase one of 1 Utama E which was open to public in 2018 offers two sports tourism activities, first of its kind in Malaysia, known as FlowRider (a simulated wave generator featuring sheet wave technology designed in the US for flowboarding, bodyboarding and surfing); and AirRider (an indoor skydiving wind tunnel for simulated sky diving).

District K features an authentic Korean street experience across its 80,000 sq ft area, highlighting several attractions such as a Korean artiste meet and greet viewing gallery, performance and hologram theatre, augmented entertainment, famous Korean restaurants, retail, skincare and beauty. The retail zone is expected to be completed by end of 2019 with an investment value of MYR 120 million (USD 29.3 million). 

The Malaysia Shopping Malls Association (popularly known as PPK Malaysia) recently signed an MoU with the Korean Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) to enhance mutual trade collaboration and co-operation and help bring in new franchise opportunities of Korean companies to shopping malls in Malaysia.

(Sources : The Edge Markets, The Edge Property)


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We counsel businesses on where to locate their office and industrial operations and what the optimal business structure should be to meet local government and tax requirements. Some of the quest...

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Trade shows can be an excellent option for companies and trade organizations to make key business and industry connections overseas. But to maximize the benefit of participating in ...

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