FDI in Malaysia

Overview by Globlatrade.net:

FDI in Figures

Global FDI inflows into Malaysia increased a lot in the 1990's, but the net flows of FDI have been negative since 2006, this is a reflect of the policies encouraging the internationalization of companies and the mistrust of investors regarding the profit repatriation earned by foreign enterprises. It seems that the re-investment of profits from the existing multinationals, which are already installed in Malaysia, constitutes the essential components of the FDI income.  The authorities want to make of Malaysia a foothold access to the ASEAN market and in order to promote this, the country offers various incentives to foreign companies, notably the status of pioneer company and tax reductions associated to the investment.  The country benefits from a high-skilled and English speaking workforce.  However, the government maintains a large discretionary power for authorizing investment projects and uses it to obtain the maximum profit from foreign participation and demands agreements that are advantageous in matters of transferring technologies or creating joint ventures.



Foreign Direct Investment 2007 2008 2009
FDI Inward Flow (million USD) 8,538 7,318 1,381
FDI Stock (million USD) 76,612 73,262 74,643
Performance Index*, Ranking on 141 Economies 74 79 123
Potential Index**, Ranking on 141 Economies 39 37 -
Number of Greenfield Investments*** 171 212 158
FDI Inwards (in % of GFCF****) 21.2 16.8 2.8
FDI Stock (in % of GDP) 41.2 33.1 39.0

Source: UNCTAD

Note: * The UNCTAD Inward FDI Performance Index is Based on a Ratio of the Country's Share in Global FDI Inflows and its Share in Global GDP. ** The UNCTAD Inward FDI Potential Index is Based on 12 Economic and Structural Variables Such as GDP, Foreign Trade, FDI, Infrastructures, Energy Use, R&D, Education, Country Risk. *** Green Field Investments Are a Form of Foreign Direct Investment Where a Parent Company Starts a New Venture in a Foreign Country By Constructing New Operational Facilities From the Ground Up. **** Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) Measures the Value of Additions to Fixed Assets Purchased By Business, Government and Households Less Disposals of Fixed Assets Sold Off or Scrapped.


FDI Inflows By Countries and Industry

Main Investing Countries 2009, in %


Singapore 17.1
United States 12.2
Japan 12.1
Netherlands 8.6
United Kingdom 8.1
British Virgin Islands 5.2
Germany 4.7
Switzerland 3.5
Cayman Islands 2.7
Australia 2.3
Hong Kong 1.9
Bermudas 1.9
Main Invested Sectors 2009, in %


Manufacturing sector 47.9
Finance and insurance 22.6
Wholesale and retail trade 7.8
Information and communications 7.2
Mining, oil and gas sectors 6.4
Agriculture, timber, fishing 3.4

Source: Bank Negara Malaysia

Form of Company Preferred By Foreign Investors
Partnership with a local company.
Form of Establishment Preferred By Foreign Investors
A company.
Main Foreign Companies
Exxon/Mobil, Caltex, Texas Instruments, Intel, Sony, Fuji, Panasonic, Microsoft, Motorola, Mattel, Dell.
Sources of Statistics
Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA)

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Why You Should Choose to Invest in Malaysia

Strong Points
The main factors that make FDI attractive are:
- A liberal and transparent investment policy;
- Competitive costs;
- Rationalization of public services;
- Attractive investment incentives;
- Developed infrastructures;
- A strategic location linked to the proximity of the main Asian markets;
- Significant resources;
- Growing spending power.
Weak Points
Malaysia's weak points are red tape and a shortage of qualified worker.
Government Measures to Motivate or Restrict FDI
The Malaysian governement encourages FDI by a number of incentive mesures particularly towards industries exporting "high-tech" products and back office operations services. In 2003, the government launched a program to boost the economy, which extended the total number of years of tax exemption from 10 to 15 for "pioneer" companies and from 5 to 10 years for priority companies. Firms which benefit from the "Multimedia Super Corridor" (MSC) program have easy taxes and regulations terms.


In order to face the crisis, the government adopted different mesures: supporting company balance-sheets, maintaining the redistribution of the oil annuities (subsidies for basic products and the education and hospital systems, and major construction policies), strengthening of the financial system and economic liberalization. At the same time, in order to favor the transfer of technology and facilitate the influx, into the country, of qualified staff, Malaysia is looking to liberalize the expatriate employment regime in the manufacturing sector.

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