• Malaysia Malaysia
Malaysia, a middle-income country, has transformed itself since the 1970s from a producer of raw materials into an emerging multi-sector economy. Malaysia is attempting to achieve high-income status by 2020 and move farther up the value-added production chain by attracting investments in Islamic finance, high technology industries, biotechnology, and services.
Malaysia has the most developed Islamic Economy ecosystem, according to Thomson Reuters' Global Islamic Economy Indicator (GIEI) 2014, 2015 and 2016, which measures progress in 2013, 2014 and 2015, respectively. In the most recently-released rankings for the year of study 2015, Malaysia is 35 points ahead of second-placed UAE. However, this lead has been narrowing: the Southeast Asian nation was 53 points clear of second-placed UAE on the GIEI 2015, and 39.9 on the GIEI 2014. Malaysia’s leading position is primarily attributed to its strong performance in Islamic finance, which is underlined by its large asset base, advanced governance and high industry awareness.
GIEI Ranking1
Halal RankingRanked 1st OIC travel destination in Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI) 2015 (GMTI is developed by MasterCard and Crescentrating)
Major Industries

Semiconductors & Electronic Equipment

Palm Oil

Petroleum & Liquid Gas

Wood & Wood Products






Petroleum Products



Iron & Steel Products


Source: Central Intelligence Agency




Halal-related agencies Intro

DEPARTMENT OF ISLAMIC DEVELOPMENT MALAYSIA (JAKIM) is a Malaysian Government institution which has established Malaysia Halal logo and implemented Halal Certification System. Issues Halal certificate for local and export markets. Monitoring and enforcement of halal guidelines. 

The Department of Standards Malaysia (STANDARDS MALAYSIA) is an agency under the ambit of Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI.)  It has the statutory roles in standardization and also entrusted with the responsibilities of accreditation.  It manages Malaysian Standard on Halal Food (MS 1500).

Halal compliance guidelines Intro

Malaysia has one of the most recognized and respected halal compliance standards and processes led by JAKIM which implements Malaysia's Halal Certification System.

Halal-related trade and trading
Bank Negara Malaysia (the central bank) maintains healthy foreign exchange reserves; a well-developed regulatory regime has limited Malaysia's exposure to riskier financial instruments and the global financial crisis. In order to attract increased investment, Najib raised possible revisions to the special economic and social preferences accorded to ethnic Malays under the New Economic Policy of 1970, but retreated in 2013 after he encountered significant opposition from Malay nationalists and other vested interests. In September 2013 Najib launched the new Bumiputra Economic Empowerment Program (BEEP), policies that favor and advance the economic condition of ethnic Malays. (Source: Central Intelligence Agency)


OIC member Yes
Other regional/global membershipsWTO, United Nations, ASEAN
Investment and Export Promotion Agencies Intro

MATRADE, as the national trade promotion agency under MITI, undertakes various export promotion activities including the promotion of the Halal sector. MINISTRY OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY (MITI), formulates strategies and provides incentives to encourage trade and investment in Halal products and services. (Source: Halal Industry Development Corporation - HDC - website)


Investment and Export Promotion Agencies Names Malaysia Agricultural Development Authority
Trade Agreement
Free Trade Agreements in EffectFree Trade Agreements in Negotiation
1. Malaysia - Australia2. Malaysia - Chile1. Malaysia - European Union Free Trade Agreement (MEUFTA)
3. Malaysia - India4. Malaysia - Japan2. Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA)
5. Malaysia - New Zealand6. Malaysia - Pakistan3. Malaysia - EFTA Economic Partnership Agreement (MEEPA)
7. ASEAN - Australia and New Zealand8. ASEAN - China4. ASEAN - Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement
9. ASEAN - India10. ASEAN - Japan 
Company ownership limits
(foreign and local)

Malaysian law allows foreign and domestic entities to establish and own business enterprises. Various requirements, such as registration and licensing, guide the government’s supervision and regulation of business activity. Business owners and operators are able to compensate employees in the form of wages, salaries, leave pay, commissions, bonuses, allowances, housing accommodations, and securities. (Source: U.S. Dept. of State: Malaysia Investment Climate 2015)