Transcript - Austrade in Malaysia


Joel Backwell, Assistant Trade Commissioner, Malaysia >> I’ve been in Malaysia for just over six months now, as Australia’s Assistant Trade Commissioner, and during that time two things have struck me more than anything else. The first is the phenomenal rate of growth and development that’s taking place in this country. Buildings, rail lines and other infrastructure projects are springing up left, right and centre. Growth is solid at between 4% and 5% and per capita GDP is on track to make Malaysia a high income nation by 2020.

The other thing I found remarkable is the sheer number of opportunities that Malaysia has to offer Australian exporters in this market, but despite Malaysia being Australia’s eight largest trading partner, not enough companies are taking advantage of what Malaysia has to offer.

So if you haven’t already considered the prospects for your company in Asia, now is the time to do so, and if you’re an Australian exporter looking for new overseas markets, there are three compelling reasons why you should consider Malaysia as your launch pad into Asia.

Susan Kahwati, Assistant Trade Commissioner, Malaysia >> The first is the availability of opportunities across a diverse array of industries. Malaysia needs many of the goods that Australia produces and the new Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement provides tariff free access for nearly all Australian goods exported to Malaysia. More importantly, MAFTA now enables many Australian services firms to enjoy majority business ownership here in Malaysia.

And as the country progresses towards its goal of becoming a higher value added knowledge based economy, this presents opportunities for Australian service providers in areas such as health and aged care, education and training, design and engineering, transport and communications, and business and financial services.

The second compelling reason is Malaysia’s geographic location and multicultural population. Sitting at the heart of Asia’s fastest growing markets, Malaysia can be a springboard to other countries in the region. If you have an office in Malaysia’s modern capital, Kuala Lumpur, you’re only a short flight to anywhere in south-east Asia and only a few more hours to countries in north-east Asia and south Asia.

And with its ethnically diverse population of Malays, Chinese and Indians, when Australians do business with Malaysians, they often benefit from knowledge and connections with countries that share similar cultural backgrounds such as China, India, Indonesia and even the Middle East.

The third compelling reason is the comparative ease of doing business here. In fact, the World Bank just ranked Malaysia as the sixth easiest country in the world to set up and operate a business, and when you combine this with English being the main language of business, a familiar legal system based on British law, and the strong brand that Australia enjoys here, after decades of educating more than 300,000 Malaysians, many of whom are in influential positions, you can see why Malaysia is worth considering as your next international business destination.

Joel Backwell, Assistant Trade Commissioner, Malaysia >> If you’re an export ready Australian business and want to know more about the opportunities for your company in Malaysia, come and talk to Austrade. We can introduce you to the right people and guide you through the market entry process to maximise your chance of success. To find out more call or email us, or visit our website.

Susan Kahwati, Assistant Trade Commissioner, Malaysia >> Our expert team of business development managers is here to help.