A great market for UK exporters, it’s business as usual in Malaysia

A great market for UK exporters, it’s business as usual in Malaysia

Now that Prime Minister Najib Razak has been re-elected on 6th May it is opportunity time for UK companies in Malaysia.

With HSBC rating Malaysia in the top 10 of future growth markets for UK exports up to 2030 * and last year’s state visit by David Cameron to the country – the first visit by a British premier since John Major in 1990s, the opportunity is there for UK companies to grasp.
And for once British businesses have an advantage. Why?

  • Malaysia is a member of the Commonwealth and Malaysian businesses and people retain great trust and affection for Britain.
  • It is estimated that more than 70,000 Malaysian students attend universities in the UK each year – more than in any other destination worldwide.
  • Malaysian investors are busy in the heart of London with developments such as the  Battersea Power Station redevelopment,

so UK / Malaysia trade is here to stay.

Opportunities for UK exporters include:

  • Film/ Digital Media – Pinewood Studios have just opened a state-of-the-art facility in Southern Malaysia which is destined to be the creative hub of SE Asia
  • Education – Southampton, Reading and Newcastle Universities have all opened campuses in Malaysia.
  • Skills-based Education – move by the Government in their latest plan to widen the education base and skill up for industries that include oil & gas
  • Telecoms – BT recently opened a major Centre following Malaysia’s decision to undertake a Digital Switchover project as part of the country’s enhanced digital TV apparatus.

Sitting next to a knowledge driven economy to the south in Singapore, and with a large consumer market in nearby Indonesia, and itself a magnet for all items British, Malaysia is in a unique position in South East Asia. And Malaysia is setting itself some ambitious targets for growth; aiming to double income per head from $6,700 to $15,000 by 2020.

So the questions to be asked are, how to set up in Malaysia? What are the laws and regulations like for businesses in Malaysia? Can you do business there?

Well, the simple answer is Yes. Our Malaysian law firm partner who is also a barrister in the country (and so unable to be named in this article), puts it in a nutshell:

“With a thriving and stable economy, Malaysia is certainly a place to do business. Already hosting over 4,500 foreign companies and 1,000,000 local companies, setting up business here can be done with relative ease and at a fair cost. Being a former British colony and a member of the Commonwealth, our laws are similar to UK law and, common law (as in the UK) plays an important role in the judicial system.”†

One of The Legal Partners’ successful clients in Malaysia is EPP Global Limited. Director Trevor Wicks has been working in Malaysia for over 30 years – first with HSBC and now with EPP. He endorses Malaysia credentials:

“I have found Malaysia to be the easiest place to do business in Asia. Malaysia has world-class companies in a range of diverse fields that present good partners with a well trained and highly motivated work force. The recent electoral result will also herald a new era of economic, political and sociological stability that can only mean outstanding prospects for doing good business there. Malaysia’s future is as bright and as colourful as its beaches”

If you’re considering exporting to Malaysia, and want to know more about setting up in, doing business in Malaysia or in any of the Asean countries, please contact me, Richard Mullett at richard.mullett@thelegalpartners.com .
For some short case studies on companies who have been and done it, and how we have helped them set up in Asia and China, click onhttp://www.thelegalpartners.com/cs_main.htm

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*Source: HSBC Global Connections – May 2013 forecasts Malaysia to be one of the top 10 fastest growing markets for UK exports between 2013 and 2030.

† Source: http://www.ssm.com.my/en/statistic-total-business-companies Companies Commission of Malaysia



Sectors: Business Services, Creative & Media, Education & Training, and Electronics & IT Technologies
Countries: Malaysia
Topics: Business Development, Export Planning, Getting Started, Legislation & Regulation, and Market Research
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