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Last updated : Nov 2009
Malaysia Business
Malaysia Business Overview - TravelPuppy.com
Malaysia Economy

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 Expansion has been replaced by a more realistic rate of growth of 4 - 4.5% per year in 2002 and 2003.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 sector.

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.

Malaysia Business

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 observed.

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)

National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia, 37 Jalan Kia Peng, 50450 Kuala Lumpur (telephone: (3) 241 9600; fax: (3) 241 3775;
e-mail: info@nccim.org.com)

Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MICCI), PO Box 12921, 50792 Kuala Lumpur (telephone: (3) 6201 7708; fax: (3) 6201 7705; e-mail: general@micci.com)

Malaysian 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: promotion@mida.gov.my).

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).