Exporting to Malaysia
Young and growing population
Malaysia has a young and growing population of over 30 million consumers (World Bank, 2018). An increasingly affluent middle class is willing to pay for quality. Malaysian society is multi-cultural and muti-lingual, but English is the business language and is widely spoken particularly in metropolitan areas.
Respect for British brands
British brands are well respected in the market. Competition can be tough and price is a big factor in decision making, but companies like BAE Systems, BP, Debenhams, Pinewood Studios and Tesco are already selling in Malaysia.
Gateway to South East Asia
Malaysia is part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which includes Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Today, these four core countries represent the UK’s second-largest global export destination after the United States. As a region, ASEAN is predicted to become the world’s fourth largest market by 2030 (Baroness Fairhead CBE, 2018).
Opportunities for exporters
There are opportunities for UK companies across a broad range of industries. Our trade advisers in Malaysia have identified particular opportunities for UK businesses in the following sectors.
Malaysia is fast becoming an educational hub for south-east Asia. There is growing demand for high-quality learning and more students from around the region are studying at British or British-linked institutions.
Government policies prioritising international education have led to a thriving private education market. This has created strong public-private partnerships and made it easier for UK companies and institutions to do business in this sector.
Adoption of technology
With high internet penetration and broadband available schools and colleges, there are opportunities for UK educational companies with digital solutions to improve the learning experience.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
The Malaysian government has prioritised AI as a key part of the ‘fourth industrial revolution’. The UK is supporting by sharing knowledge and helping to develop strategies. This should create more opportunities for UK companies.
A 5G task force has been set up, with priorities including attracting companies to participate in test projects. The UK is sharing best practice in adaptation and deployment, with opportunities for companies to demonstrate 5G technologies and applications based on it.
There are major opportunities to assist in the delivery of cyber-crime and policing training, wider talent development and in the education of citizens and industries on managing new risks.
Education and training
Private hospitals and specialist facilities are improving the skills of their staff to gain market share, especially in areas like cardiology and fertility. Many practitioners have studied in the UK and are open to collaboration.
Medical providers are looking for digital solutions in areas from integrated patient records systems to mobile patient apps. There are opportunities in the public and private sector for technology that can help limited budgets to maximise reach and impact.