As a trading nation with a small domestic market, it is imperative for Malaysia to continue to adopt an open trade and investment regime to promote economic growth, provide opportunities for high skilled employment and promote technological development and innovation. Moreover, increased internationalisation through trade and participation in the global value chains (GVCs) provides SMEs in Malaysia the opportunity to achieve economies of scale, expand market share, and increase productivity. In this respect, Malaysia has embarked on Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) to seek better market access opportunities for Malaysian goods and services. Malaysian SMEs are therefore encouraged to leverage on FTAs and develop good understanding of FTA provisions and trade requirements to be able to tap on the opportunities brought by FTAs to penetrate export markets. The use of e-commerce platforms is also useful to reach a wider market.
To-date Malaysia has signed 13 FTAs as per below:
- Malaysia-Turkey (2014)
- Malaysia-Australia (2012)
- Malaysia-India (2011)
- Malaysia-Chile (2010)
- Malaysia-New Zealand (2009)
- ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand (2009)
- ASEAN-India (2009)
- ASEAN-Japan (2008)
- Malaysia-Pakistan (2007)
- ASEAN-Korea (2006)
- Malaysia-Japan (2005)
- ASEAN-China (2004)
- ASEAN Free Trade Area (1992)
Besides the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement negotiations of which were concluded on 5 October 2015, Malaysia is also negotiating the following FTAs:
• Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement;
• Malaysia-EU FTA;
• Malaysia-European Free Trade Association Economic Partnership Agreement (MEEPA); and
• ASEAN-Hong Kong FTA.
Disclaimer: This document is for information purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice.