Venture to Malaysia with IE Singapore
Singapore’s closest neighbour
Malaysia is a convenient first point of expansion for Singapore companies due to its proximity, socio-cultural similarity and larger market size. The Johor-Singapore causeway is one of the world’s busiest border crossings, testifying to the close links between both countries. More than 250,000 commuters make the land crossing each day1.
Both countries will be even more closely connected with a High Speed Rail that is expected to be completed by 2026. The express rail service, linking Kuala Lumpur to Singapore in just 90 minutes, will run every 30 minutes. Such seamless travel between both capital cities is a boon for businesses.
In 2010, Malaysia embarked upon an ambitious Economic Transformation programme, aiming to become a high-income economy with per capita Gross National Income (GNI) of US$15,000 by 2020. The plan involves transforming its business landscape through initiatives such as human capital development and the liberalisation of service sectors. These new initiatives, coupled with a rising middle class, mean increasing opportunities in areas such as healthcare, education, and consumer-related sectors like food and retail.
Under the programme, 12 National Key Economic Areas were identified as drivers of growth, including education, healthcare, and wholesale and retail. In September 2017, Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak said the programme had created some 2.26 million new jobs and raised GNI by nearly 50% since its inception.
Five economic growth corridors
Malaysia has identified 5 economic corridors where further development will be focused: Iskandar Malaysia, East Coast Economic Region, Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER), Sabah Development Corridor (SDC) and the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE). Each has their own investment incentives governed by their respective promotional agencies.
Venture to Malaysia
It is not surprising that Singapore’s closest neighbour is our second-largest trading partner after China, with total bilateral trade amounting to S$93.8 billion in 2016. Traditionally known as one of the top exporters of natural rubber and palm oil, the resource-rich nation has successfully diversified its economy to include manufacturing, services and tourism. Malaysia’s focus on high-value foreign investments presents opportunities for investors in areas such as tourism, healthcare and transport, among others.
1: Asia One
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