Malaysia Fact Sheet

  • MalaysiaMalaysia


Malaysia is one of the most open economies in the world, ranking 12th out of 190 countries in the World Bank Doing Business 2020 Report. Its economy has diversified from one that leaned heavily on the export of natural resources like rubber and palm oil, to one that now includes manufacturing, services and tourism.

33.5 mil

33.5 mil

Population size

29.2 years

29.2 years

Median age

Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur


Malaysian ringgit (MYR)

Malaysian ringgit (MYR)

Currency unit



Internet penetration rate



Mobile penetration rate



GDP per capita projection
(Current prices, 2025)


Real GDP growth projection
(Annual percent change, 2025)


S&P global ratings


16.0 mil

Total labour force (2020)


Literacy rate


Nominal wage (2019)

Key Sectors

  • Aerospace
  • Education
  • Hospitality
  • Industrials
  • Manufacturing
  • Medical devices and healthcare
  • Oil, gas and chemicals
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Technology
  • Textile

Tax Profile


Corporate tax


Number of DTAs


Dividend withholding tax


Interest withholding tax


Capital gains tax


FX control


US$238 bil
US$205 bil
  1. China
  2. Singapore
  3. United States
  4. Hong Kong
  5. Japan
  1. China
  2. Singapore
  3. United States
  4. Japan
  5. Thailand

Based on 2019 data


Economic zones

Economic zones

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Government agencies and business chambers

Government agencies and business chambers

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Key government initiatives and incentives

Key government initiatives and incentives

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  • 5 Economic Corridors
  • 1 Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ)

Industry4WRD was launched in 2018 to drive digital transformation of the manufacturing and related services sectors in Malaysia, with the vision of turning Malaysia into a primary destination for high-tech industries.


Pioneer Status (PS)

  • Income tax exemption of 70­-100 per cent of statutory income for five to 10 years.


Investment Tax Allowance (ITA)

  • Allowance of 60-100 per cent on qualifying capital expenditure used for approved projects incurred within five to 10 years.


Principal hub

  • New Company
    • 0 per cent tax rate for up to 10 years (5+5) – Tier 1
    • 5 per cent tax rate for up to 10 years (5+5) – Tier 2
  • Existing Company
    • 10 per cent tax rate for up to 5 years


MSC Malaysia Status

  • 100 per cent tax exemption for five years (Tier 1 and 2), extendable for another five years.
  • 70 per cent tax exemption for five years (Tier 3), extendable provided the company changes to Tier 1 or 2 and fulfils the conditions imposed.



Sources: UOB Global Economics & Markets Research, Central Intelligence Agency’s The World Factbook, World Economic Outlook (October 2020), World Bank; UNESCO Institute of Statistics, Asian Development Bank, Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation Sdn. Bhd.

This fact sheet is given on a general basis without obligation and is strictly for information only. Nothing in this fact sheet constitutes accounting, legal, regulatory, tax or other advice. This fact sheet is not intended as an offer, recommendation, solicitation, or advice to purchase or sell any investment product, securities or instruments. Although reasonable care has been taken to ensure the accuracy and objectivity of the information contained in this fact sheet, UOB and its employees make no representation or warranty, whether express or implied, as to its accuracy, completeness and objectivity and accept no responsibility or liability for any error, inaccuracy, omission or any consequence or any loss or damage howsoever suffered by any person arising from any reliance on the information in this fact sheet.

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