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EU trade relations with Malaysia. Facts, figures and latest developments.

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Negotiations and agreements

Negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the EU and Malaysia were launched in 2010 and put on hold after seven rounds in 2012 at the request of Malaysia. The new government appointed in December 2022 has yet to take a position on the possible resumption of the negotiations.

Malaysia has been a member of the WTO since its creation in 1995.

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  • Bilateral trade in goods between the two partners equalled €50.3 billion in 2022. EU goods imports from Malaysia stood at €35.6 billion in 2022, while EU goods exports reached €14.7 billion last year. Trade in services amounted to almost €7.6 billion in 2021. 
  • The EU is the fourth-largest trading partner of Malaysia (after China, Singapore, and the United States), accounting for 9.6% of the country’s total trade in 2021.
  • In 2021, Malaysia was the EU’s third-largest trading partner within the ASEAN region (after Singapore and Vietnam).
  • Bilateral trade between the EU and Malaysia is dominated by industrial products, which account for over 90% of trade flows, and in particular by machinery and appliances, which account for 60% of all EU imports and over 45% of EU exports (2022 figures). Besides machinery and appliances, the EU mainly imports animal and vegetable fats and oils, chemical products and optical and photographic instruments, and mainly exports chemical products.
  • Although Malaysia has not been a major trading partner in services so far, opportunities have already been increasing due to its liberalisation policies and would even further advance with a FTA. In 2021, the EU's outward Foreign Direct Investment stocks in Malaysia were €28.7 billion, which accounts for 18.1% of total FDI in Malaysia.

The EU and Malaysia

Even though the FTA negotiations between the EU and Malaysia are on hold, a Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) was launched in support of FTA negotiations between the two partners. The SIA seeks to assess how trade and trade-related provisions in the proposed FTA could potentially impact economic, social, human rights, and environmental elements in each trading partner and in other relevant countries.

Malaysia and ASEAN

Malaysia is one of the 10 members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), the third largest economy in the region in terms of GDP (12%) and the EU’s third largest trading partner in ASEAN.

The ASEAN region is a dynamic market with some 660 million consumers and ranks as the eighth-biggest economy in the world. The countries as a group are the EU's third-largest trading partner outside Europe, after the US and China.

More information on ASEAN

Trading with Malaysia

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