Country Forecast Malaysia September 2017

Country Forecast Malaysia September 2017

  • September 2017 •
  • Report ID: 1698608 •
  • Format: PDF

Policy towards private enterprise and competition

2017-18: Government-linked companies continue to play a key role in the economy. A local equity rule, requiring all firms to offer a 30% equity stake to bumiputera (ethnic Malays and other indigenous people), remains in place.

2019-21: The authorities attempt to collaborate with the private sector to develop innovative modern services and higher value-added industries.

Policy towards foreign investment

2017-18: The focus is on positioning Malaysia as a base for high-technology manufacturing such as medical and "green" technology, aerospace and higher value-added services.

2019-21: The authorities expand foreign-investment incentives by lowering barriers to entry.

Foreign trade and exchange controls

2017-18: A ban on offshore trading of the ringgit remains in place. Malaysia, one of 11 signatories of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, sends officials to attend high-level trade meetings with a view to ratifying the agreement without the US.

2019-21: The government continues to implement bilateral trade agreements secured by the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) with Japan, India, China, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, with an overarching aim of forming a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.


2017-18: The government leaves the goods and services tax (GST) unchanged at 6%. The authorities continue to maintain a tight rein on spending.

2019-21: Tax collection gradually becomes more efficient as electronic systems are modified, and better revenue collection leads to an improvement in the fiscal balance.


2017-18: Malaysia plays a leading role in the development of Islamic banking and finance by expanding the scope of services offered. Liberalisation of financial markets continues.

2019-21: Lending to households slows as Bank Negara Malaysia (the central bank) starts to tighten monetary policy.

The labour market

2017-18: The minimum wage is increased slightly. Illegal immigration remains a problem.

2019-21: Skills shortages remain a key barrier to Malaysia achieving high-income status. The retirement age is raised.


2017-18: Communications infrastructure and urban public transport are prioritised. Phase two of the Klang Valley mass rapid transit project gets under way.

2019-21: Work commences on a high-speed railway from the capital, Kuala Lumpur, to Singapore.


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