Since its independence in 1957, Malaysia has been nothing short but a spectacular destination for businesses to penetrate the South East Asian market. Ideally located in between Thailand & Singapore, Malaysia is in the center of the Asian region, with its neighbours being fast-emerging economies such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei and Philippines.
Malaysia is quickly becoming one of the most important business development region in the whole of Asia – With its enactment as the Islamic hub of Asia, you can be rest assured that Malaysia is a center for economic boom.
Malaysia is located in South East Asia, above Singapore and right below Thailand & Vietnam. It has approximately 328,657 sq km of land and 1,190 sq km of water.
- Weather: Tropical, hot and wet all year round. Annual southwest (April to October) and northeast (October to February) monsoons.
- Natural Resources: Petroleum, iron ore, tin, timber, copper, natural gas and bauxite.
- Natural Disasters: Floods, landslides & forest fires.
- Renewable Water Resources: 580 cubic km
- Urban Population Rate: 70% of total population
- Malaysia lies entirely in the equatorial zone and the average daily temperature throughout Malaysia varies from 21°C to 32°C.
- Peninsular Malaysia: Perlis, Kedah, Pulau Pinang, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Johor, Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan. Sabah and Sarawak in Borneo.
Famous for its multi-racial, peaceful and English-speaking community, Malaysia’s labour force is very well known among investors around the world when they’re setting presence in Asia. Its reputation of being ‘skilled workforce’ speaks for itself:
- Malaysians speak a few languages: English, Malay, Chinese & Tamil.
- Language isn’t so much of a barrier for Malaysians while traveling to neighbouring countries: Indonesia’s Bahasa Indon is fairly similar to Malaysia’s Bahasa Melayu, Singapore is mainly English speaking, many in Thailand speaks Bahasa Melayu or English, etc.
- Literacy level in Malaysia is above 95% as of 2009.
- Malaysia generates a large pool of new, young and brilliant professionals from internationally recognized and local-based universities and colleges every year.
- Malaysians who completed their high school degree enter the job market with least 11 years of basic education.
- Labour productivity in Malaysia steadily grows 3.3% per year or more over the last few years.
- The Malaysian government & private institutions places combined efforts with big budgets for education every year.
- Malaysians are generally known as literate, productive, innovative, creative and cost effective.
- Malaysia’s unemployment rate is at 3.2% as of 2008.
Economy in Malaysia registered a growth of 4.6% in the year 2008, although international financial conditions were worsening and global economic environment is facing a massive weatherstorm.
In 2008, the interesting thing about Malaysia is that it has robust domestic demands, particularly private consumption. Consumer spending is still strong and public funds are high – Which supported its growth during the year end. Due to rapid deterioration of global economic conditions, Malaysia’s export performance was slightly contracted due to the shrinkage of commodity prices in its next second half of the year.
Malaysia’s economy then grew strongly by 7.1% in the first half of 2008, with much support from domestic and external demand. Positive labour market conditions, favourable financing environments and strong expansion of private consumption led to the continually strong domestic demand. High commodity prices and strong export volume contributed much to its external demand.
When the world sees a stronger financial downturn in the second half of 2008, net external demand declined significantly. While external trade are heavily affected in a number of regional advanced economies, Malaysia’s real GDP growth remained positive in the 2nd half of 2008, expanding by 2.4%.
The Malaysian government gave bonuses for governmental workers (civil servants), cash rebates, fuel subsidies and continued access to financing support despite weakening employment conditions.
Labour market conditions began to deteriorate during the second half of the year as businesses, particularly in the manufacturing sector, were slightly more cautious due to the sharp drop in external trade. Unemployment rates increased to 3.7% in 2008, as total employment expanded
at a slower pace compared to the increase in the labour force.
According to the Malaysian Employers Federation Survey, average salary in the private sector increased by 5.9% in 2008 while, labour productivity improved further in 2008, thus supporting increases in salary and wage growth.