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Business in Malaysia - An Overview

July 2012 | By Servcorp

Small businesses are thriving in Malaysia, and despite the effects of the 2008 global financial crisis,  the country's economy bounced back in 2010 and – with active private consumption and the return of domestic investments, along with the government's efforts at stimulating the economy with a judicious budgetary stimulus plan – the outlook is definitely one of an economy with great opportunities for small businesses.
Also helping things along is the government's 'New Economic Model' (NEM) for the country, which was launched along with the country's 10th five-year plan (2011-2015), designed to encourage innovation and increase production profits. The NEM also envisions the doubling of the country's per capita income by 2020.
The main industries in Malaysia are agriculture – Malaysia is one of the world's biggest palm oil, cocoa, rubber and tropical hardwood producers. The Malaysian economy is primarily based on the production of raw materials for industry: oil and gas, rubber, tin, copper and bauxite.
Malaysia is also a haven for high-technology industry, which contributes to approximately 40% of the country's GDP. The country is one of the world's largest producers of semiconductors, electrical goods and home appliances. The country is also well on its way to becoming one of the world's main developers of software, attracting significant foreign investment in this sector.
Other significant exports include mineral fuels, electric and electronic equipment, vegetable oils, machinery, iron and steel.
Tourism is also a huge contributor to Malaysian GDP. The country is one of south-east Asia's most popular tourist destinations. Malaysian standards of living are high, and employment rates are low, and, with its openness to international trade and a healthy trade balance – the global economic crisis did not affect the trade balance since imports dropped at a larger percentage than exports – this is one of most attractive countries in south-east Asia to launch a small business. Foreign trade makes up more than double the country's GDP and its biggest trade partners are the USA, Singapore, Japan and the European Union.
Malaysia also has an attractive long-term stay visa for private individuals who fulfil certain criteria, called the 'Malaysia My Second Home' (MM2H) program. This visa is valid for ten years and is renewable. Holders of the MM2H visa can also register a small business in Malaysia as a private limited company. If you intend to start up your own small business in Malaysia, Servcorp will provide your enterprise with an immediate presence. Either of Servcorp's two serviced offices in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, can make ideal locations for your business in Malaysia. Equipped with the latest technology, along with complete administrative and secretarial support and meeting rooms at your disposal, Servcorp is ready to help you make your idea for a small business in Malaysia a reality.