The futuristic skyline of Kuala Lampur in the west gives way to the feral jungles of Malaysian Borneo to the east. Nowhere is Asia’s contradictory nature more pronounced than here. Multiple ethnicities. Dual disparate landmasses. One country. Malaysia is a study in contrast.
A hot bed of race, religion, politics, and history, creates a multi-faceted cultural milieu that is uniquely Malaysian. Forty thousand years of empires and ethnicity have landed on its shores. Commerce and culture are intrinsically intertwined. Historically, trade brought the European colonists from Portugal, Holland, and Britain, and in the post-world war II era, the Japanese came as well. Today’s Malaysian commerce is driven by the “bamboo network” – Chinese family owned business conglomerates that stretch across the region.
When doing business in Malaysia, it’s important to keep certain cultural nuances in mind. Meetings usually will not take place on Friday, in adherence with Islamic cultural norms. Rapport is important to establish, and they need to identify with you on both a social as well as a business level before a deal will be made.
Commodities like palm oil, rubber, bamboo, coconut, spices, minerals, and petroleum have made it one of the Asian tiger economies – averaging a consistent 6 – 6.5% GDP growth from 1957 – 2015. Agriculture and electronics are the other backbones of the economy. Hospitality and tourism, as well as the airline sector are heavily promoted by the government.
To quote The Economist, “Malaysia is in rude economic health,” and now, it’s only headed onward and upward.
Thank you for your interest in Malaysia. Currently, all our programs here are customised, so please reach out to us with your requirements and we’ll put together a customised program for you.