Sales Representative in Malaysia

Overview by

Commercial Intermediaries

Trading Companies
  • Type of Organization
Some trading companies are specialized in one range of products, others are import/export companies for all products.
  • Main Actors
The five biggest distributors in Malaysia are foreign. Dairy Farm International, a Hong Kong company, is the biggest chain of hypermarkets in Asia; it manages not only the Giant stores but also Cold Storage and the pharmacy Guardian.The Japanese chain Aeon is just behind the Jusco stores, followed by the French group Carrefour and the English group Tesco. The Malaysian group The Store Corp owns brand names for consumers of modest means.
  • Type of Organization
Wholesalers act as commercial intermediaries and also provide logistics and storage services.
  • Main Actors
Sooi Seng Sdn Bhd, Makro. A list of wholesalers is available here.
Useful Resources
Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs

Using a Commercial Agent

The Advantages
Going through a local distributor is a good way to penetrate the Malaysian market. He will be able to look after Customs matters, deal with wholesalers and retailers, carry out product marketing directly with public companies and manage the after sales aspect.
Where to Be Vigilant
A possible loss of control over product sales, or a divergence of interest between the agent and the supplier.
Elements of Motivation
The wish to keep one's job is already a good source of motivation, to which can be added an attractive remuneration and relations of trust.
The Average Amount of Commission
Commission varies between 5 and 10%.
Breach of Contract
The termination of the contract can come about by revocation of the agent's authority by his principal, by the agent's renouncing it, the completion of the mission, the death or insanity of one of the protagonists, adjudication, bankruptcy or insolvency of the principal.
Finding a Commercial Agent
Global Representation
Find Sales and Distribution Service Providers in Malaysia on

Setting Up a Commercial Unit

The Advantages
In-depth knowledge of the branch of activity, spotting new openings, control over the company's image, over sales.
Where to Be Vigilant
Technical, human and financial resources are substantial,  there is financial and commercial risk.
Different Possible Forms of Settlement
  • A Representative Office
A representative office is an easy and inexpensive form of setting up business, but it offers limited margins of action.
  • A Branch Office
Opening a subsidiary is the most expensive but the most flexible means (wholesaling and retailing are inaccessible).
  • A Company
Setting up a company (of the limited liability type) is not so advantageous as a subsidiary or a joint venture as regards taxes and the responsibility involved.


Evolution of the Sector
Franchising is developing fast in Malaysia, but distribution by franchise still only represents 4% of outlets in the country and 5% of retail sales. The number of franchises which was 117 in 2000, officially rose to 311 in September 2007 (19% of which were of American origin). The growth potential remains very high. The 5 sectors most represented are catering (29%), fashion and accessories (15%), the services sector (12.5%), education (12.5%), beauty and health (7%).
Some Big Franchises
McDonald’s, fast food
Pizza Hut, pizzeria
Kentucky Fried Chicken, fast food
Haagen Dazs, fast food
Zara, clothing
Marks & Spencer, clothing
Esprit, clothing
Aster Spring, skin care
Smart Reader, educational programmes
For Further Information
MECD, Ministry of Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development

Finding Assistance

Export Trading Companies
A list is available on the Malaysia Directory website
Find more on about Selling to Malaysia.

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