Malaysia is the third-largest economy in the Asean region with a multi-sector economy based on services and manufacturing.  It is one of the world’s largest exporters of semiconductor components and devices, electrical goods, solar panels, and information and communication technology

It is also one of the top exporters of natural rubber and palm oil and lays claim to being the world’s largest Islamic banking and financial centre.

The government encourages joint-ventures between Malaysian and foreign investors and its commitment in creating a safe investment environment has attracted more than 8,000 international companies from over 40 countries to make Malaysia their offshore base.  The government operates several sovereign wealth funds that actively invest in local companies and foreign companies.

Malaysia’s economy continues to grow despite the more challenging external environment and its push to transform to a high income economy by 2020 is on track, with early gains indicating it may reach its target even sooner should per capita income continue to grow at the current pace.

GDP and Population Growth Forecasts

2012   2013 2014 2015 2016
 $267.8 GDP ($bn)  $289.0 $311.9  $336.2   $362.4
  GDP Growth %  7.9% 7.8%  7.8%  7.8% 
 29.22 Population (m)  29.72 30.22  30.74  31.26 
  Population Growth %  1.7% 1.7%  1.7%  1.7% 
  GDP per Capita  $9,725 $10,320  $10,939   $11,594
Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF)