South-East Asia IPR SME Helpdesk

Snapshot: Business in Malaysia for EU Companies


(Source: DG Trade )

SIZE of Market: 

  • EU goods exports to Malaysia in 2014: EUR 14 billion
  • EU goods imports from Malaysia in 2014: EUR 19.6 billion
  • Total trade in goods in 2014: EUR 33.6 billion
  • EU services exports to Malaysia in 2013: EUR 4.2 billion
  • EU services imports from Malaysia in 2013: EUR 3.2 billion
  • Total trade in services in 2013: EUR 7.4 billion

Malaysia is the EU’s second largest trading partner among the South-East Asia countries, behind Singapore (and 23rd overall). Conversely, the EU is Malaysia’s third largest trading partner overall (accounting for 9.9% of Malaysia’s total external trade in 2014), after China and Singapore.

Malaysia GDP in 2014: USD 338.1 billion (Source: World Bank) Malaysia GDP growth in 2014: 6.0% (Source: World Bank)


  • Malaysia’s exports to the EU are mainly machinery and appliances. EU’s exports to Malaysia are also machinery and electrical equipment. 
  • Some key sectors in Malaysia requiring particular IP attention include telecommunication equipment (mobile phones), apparel, movies and software.
  • The Malaysian government is currently focusing on developing an internationally competitive services sector, with a focus on logistics, ICT, financial and environmental services.
  • The EU and Malaysia are currently looking to restart negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement that would further liberalise the market for EU foreign companies wishing to do business in Malaysia. Malaysia's policy of liberalisation with regard to its services sector, has led to increased opportunities for trade in services. When a free trade agreement is concluded between the EU and Malaysia, the trade between the two parties is expected to increase even further.
  • The co-operation between the EU and Malaysia is ensured through the EUSouth-East Asia Dialogue which includes discussions on trade and investment issues at ministerial and senior economic official levels.