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Negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Malaysia were launched in 2010 and put on hold after seven rounds in 2012 at the request of Malaysia. A stocktaking exercise took place in 2016-17 to assess the prospect to resume negotiations. In the aftermath of the general elections in Malaysia in May this year, the new government has yet to take a position on the possible resumption of negotiations.

Malaysia is a member of ASEAN and a WTO member.

Trade picture

  • In 2017, Malaysia became the EU's 21st largest trading partner in goods. Bilateral trade between the EU and Malaysia is dominated by industrial products. The EU mainly imports machinery and appliances and mainly exports electrical equipment and machinery (both ways industrial products account for more than 90% of trade). Other sectors of relevance in terms of EU imports from Malaysia are plastics and rubber and animal and vegetable fats and oils and in terms of exports, mechanical products.
  • EU imports from Malaysia have gradually increased since 2006 and stand at € 25 billion in 2017. EU exports have also seen a growing trend to reach € 14.4 billion in 2017.
  • 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 Free Trade Agreement. In 2016, Foreign Direct Investment outward stocks in Malaysia were €13.8 billion.

EU-Malaysia: Trade in goods

Trade in goods 2016-2018, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2016 22.0 13.2 -8.7
2017 24.9 14.4 -10.6
2018 25.7 14.2 -11.5

EU-Malaysia: Trade in services

Trade in services 2015-2017, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2015 3.2 4.7 1.4
2016 3.3 4.0 0.8
2017 4.2 4.6 0.4

EU-Malaysia: Foreign direct investment

Foreign direct investment 2017, € billions
Year Inward stocks Outward stocks Balance
2017 15.3 24.5 9.2

Date of retrieval: 17/04/2019

More statistics on Malaysia

EU and Malaysia

A Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) has been launched in support of free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations between the European Union and Malaysia. 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.

To learn more about the SIA, go to the EU-Malaysia SIA website.

Malaysia and ASEAN

The co-operation between the EU and Malaysia is ensured through the EU-ASEAN Dialogue which includes discussions on trade and investment issues at ministerial and senior economic official levels.

Malaysia is one of the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and is the EU's third trading partner in ASEAN.

ASEAN as a whole represents the EU's third largest trading partner outside Europe (after the US and China). Negotiating better access for EU exporters to the dynamic ASEAN market is a priority for the EU.

More information on ASEAN

Trading with Malaysia