Since the 1970s Malaysia's economy has grown rapidly at around 10%
yearly. This economic growth has been achieved through the East
Asian alliance of a strong state allied to capitalism. The government
plays a crucial role in developing the country’s economic
progress. The New Development Policy began in 1991 as the country’s
economic blueprint for the next 20 years. However, in 1997 this
process got stuck by the Asian financial crisis. Malaysia has recovered
since then. Expansion has been replaced by a more realistic rate
of growth of 4 - 4.5% per year in 2002 and 2003. In September 1998
the Ringgit, the Malaysian currency was pegged to the American dollar.
The manufacturing sector produces transport equipment, electronics,
machinery steel and textiles. There are also reserves of natural
gas and oil, mineral deposits of tin (a main producer), copper,
bauxite, iron and gold. Palm oil is a main export and Malaysia is
the world’s leading producer. Timber production is essential,
even though it was restricted by conservation measures in the mid-1990s.
Some other major cash crops are rubber (Malaysia is one of the world’s
top producers), pepper and cocoa. Tourism is dominant in the service
Malaysia’s largest trading partners are America, China, Japan,
Singapore and the European Union. Malaysia is also a member of APEC
(Asia-Pacific Economic Forum). The stability of Malaysia’s
financial sector suffered short-term damage but could recover quickly.
Malaysia's annual growth has averaged 3% over the last 5 years.
For business meetings, suits or safari suits are common. Visiting
businessmen should remember that the Malay population is mostly
Muslim and religious customs should be respected and courtesies
Office hours: Vary between Peninsular
Malaysia and East Malaysia. Most offices are open by 8.30 am and
close between 4.00 and 5.30 pm. All close for an hour between noon
and 2.00 pm. Saturday's most close at noon.
Malaysia Commercial Information
The following organizations can provide advice:
Malaysian Trade Commission, 17 Curzon Street, London W1J 5HR, UK
(telephone: (020) 7499 5255; fax: (020) 7499 4597)
Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia, 37 Jalan Kia Peng,
50450 Kuala Lumpur (telephone: (3) 241 9600; fax: (3) 241 3775;
Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry
(MICCI), PO Box 12921, 50792 Kuala Lumpur (telephone: (3) 6201 7708;
fax: (3) 6201 7705; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Industrial Development Authority (MIDA), Blok 4, Plaza Sentral,
Jalan Stesen Sentral 5, 50470 Kuala Lumpur (telephone: (3) 2267
3633; fax: (3) 2274 7970; e-mail: email@example.com).
Malaysia Conferences and Conventions
Numerous conferences and conventions are held in Malaysia. Other
than the dedicated facilities at the Putra World Trade Centre in
Kuala Lumpur, most 5- star hotels provides facilities. For more
details, contact the Tourism Malaysia, Convention Promotion Division
(see Contact section).