MALAYSIA POWERS AHEAD. . . Opportunities for international marketers.



MALAYSIA and Singapore are two closely linked markets due to their joint business environments.

Vistors from Singapore prefer visiting exhibitions in Kuala Lumpur - just a 4 hour bus ride from Central Singapore to KLCC.

At the same time, all the major Singapore companies have subsidries in Malaysia.

Therefore, any discussion on the Malaysian Market should take neighbouring Singapore into consideration. 






Key Development Indicators of Malaysia in 2017 are:


The World Bank classifies Malaysia as an upper-middle income nation. 




Malaysia uses a two-tiered healthcare system: 

# Public universal healthcare 
# Private healthcare 


Access to quality healthcare and social welfare protection is the main theme raised by the new Malaysian government. 

To ensure welfare and quality of life, a sum of US$7 billion

was allocated for the public healthcare sector for 2019, an increase of 7.8 percent from 2018.


This is almost 10 percent of the total national budget. Out of that sum, US$2.6 billion is set aside for:

  • Development
  • Maintenance, & upgrading of existing public healthcare facilities
  • Procurement of medical equipment and medicine.


As per capita GDP rises, demand for private healthcare consumption is expected to increase as well. 


There has been a shift in healthcare expenditures from public toward private.

(Just a month ago, Malaysia was nominated as having the world's best healthcare- see press below.)


Current Facilities

(i) As of December 2017, there are 144 public hospitals and special medical institutions with 42,302 official beds under the Ministry of Health (MOH). 


(ii) Additionally, there are a total of 2,881 MOH-managed health and community clinics. 


(iii) Furthermore, there are 217 mobile health clinics teams and 6 helicopters with 12 teams of mobile doctor services. 


(iv) There are an additional 342 sub-brand MOH clinics and seven mobile bus clinics. 


(v) The Ministry of Defense (MOD) has five army hospitals 


(vi) The Ministry of Education (MOE) has five university hospitals. 


There are 3,892 combined official beds under both the MOD and MOE hospitals.


(vii) As of 2017, there are a total of 1,687 MOH dental clinics with 3,247 dental chairs, plus 1,747 mobile dental teams. 


(viii) There are 24 sub-brand dental clinics with 38 dental chairs, 1 sub-brand mobile bus dental clinic and 2 sub-brand mobile boat dental clinics under the MOH.


The PRIVATE sector has of 2017:

  • 200 hospitals (14,799 beds), 
  • 16 maternity homes (50 beds), 
  • 22 nursing homes (700 beds), 
  • 2 hospice (17 beds)
  • 100 ambulatory care centers (186 beds), 
  • 4 blood banks (25 banks/tanks), 
  • 450 hemodialysis centers (4,843 dialysis chairs), 
  • 7,571 registered private medical clinics 
  • 2,137 private dental clinics in the country. 

Main Competitors
In 2018, the total trade for Malaysia’s medical device industry was USD$2.47 billion:
and it imported USD $7,250 million of medical devices. 

Imports From:


# USA 24.6 %

# Singapore17.3 %

# Germany 10.8 %

# Japan 9.9 %

# China 7.9 %

# Belgium 3 %
# South Korea2.6 %


Overall, Malaysian imports of medical devices increased 25 percent over the 2018/2017 period.



Major Imports in 2016 were:

# Medical Instruments, Apparatus & Appliances (RM2.3 billion).

# Catheters,Syringes,Needles and Sutures (RM0.6 billion); and

# Opthalmic Lenses, Including Contact Lenses (RM0.6 billion);

# Electro medical equipment (RM0.5 billion); and
# Medical and surgical x-ray apparatus (RM0.2 billion)


Room for Expansion for China based Manufacturers


Malaysia is the 19th largest export economy in the world and the 25th most complex economy according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI)


In 2017, Malaysia exported $263B and imported $197B, resulting in a positive trade balance of $66.4B. 


In 2017 the GDP of Malaysia was $314B and its GDP per capita was $29.4k.


The top EXPORT destinations of Malaysia are China ($42.5B), Singapore ($35.7B), the United States ($33.1B), Japan ($17.8B) and Hong Kong ($13.6B).


The top IMPORT origins are China ($38.1B), Singapore ($28.4B), the United States ($14.7B), Japan ($13.4B) and Other Asia ($12.4B).


PRESS- KUALA LUMPUR: China remains Malaysia's largest trading partner for 10 consecutive years, with trade growing 8.1 per cent to RM313.8 billion last year. This, according to the Ministry of International Trade and Industries (MITI), constituted 16.7 per cent of Malaysia's total trade.


External Factors - Trade War USA-China

KUALA LUMPUR — The Malaysian economy’s lower exposure to global trade means it will avoid the brunt of the fallout from the US-China trade war unlike Singapore's 17.3 per cent year-on-year slump in non-oil exports, according to observers.


. . .Malaysia’s stronger reliance on domestic consumption means the country will not suffer the longer term decline that is befalling the island state, according to a report on PRESS - The Edge Markets on Monday (July 29).


A broad conclusion arrives at the fact that Malaysia will continue to develop its healthcare facilities and be a major customer for high-end medical devices. The growing influence of the Malaysian-Singaporean population will be a major determining factor.


In addition, the tremendous growth in the MEDICAL TOURISM INDUSTRY for both countries; gurantees a continued reliance on high-end sophisticated medical devices from the more developed countries of EU and USA.
While CHINA will continue its steady increase in market share.


The Exhibition

ABC Exhibitions is the organiser of the 23rd edition of the SE-Asian Healthcare & Pharma Show.
For the past 22 years, it has successfully organised Malaysia's only international event for the medical 



Press Cuttings:


NTP Boosts Medical Tourism
(Credit New Straits Times)

Malaysia Ranked 1st in World's Best Healthcare Category

(Credit World of Buzz)


As Singapore’s exports dive, economists see Malaysia escaping trade war slump

(TODAY - 21 Nov. 2019)


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