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In September 2010 the EU Member States approved the launch of negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement with Malaysia. One month later, negotiations were launched in Brussels. After seven rounds, negotiations were put on hold in April 2012 at Malaysia's request. A stocktaking exercise is being finalised to assess the prospect to resume negotiations.

Malaysia is a member of ASEAN and a WTO member.

Trade picture

  • In 2016, Malaysia remained the EU's 22nd 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 € 22 billion in 2016. EU exports have also seen a growing trend to reach € 13.2 billion in 2016.
  • 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 2014, Foreign Direct Investment outward stocks in  Malaysia were €10.1 billion.

EU-Malaysia: Trade in goods

Trade in goods 2015-2017, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2015 22.8 13.4 -9.4
2016 21.9 13.2 -8.6
2017 25.0 14.4 -10.7

EU-Malaysia: Trade in services

Trade in services 2014-2016, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2014 3.2 4.6 1.4
2015 3.3 4.5 1.2
2016 3.4 3.8 0.4

EU-Malaysia: Foreign direct investment

Foreign direct investment 2016, € billions
Year Inward stocks Outward stocks Balance
2016 13.8 22.7 8.9

Date of retrieval: 16/04/2018

More statistics on Malaysia

EU and Malaysia

Malaysia is the EU's third trading partner inside ASEAN, behind Singapore and Vietnam.

In 2010 the Malaysian Government presented the New Economic Model and the 10th Malaysian Economic Plan to facilitate Malaysia's transition to become a high-income economy by the year 2020. This economic model advocates the need to enhance the role of the private sector and re-focus the Government's role in the economy as a facilitator and enabler.

Malaysia's policy of liberalisation with regard to its services sector has led to increased opportunities for trade in services.

With a free trade agreement between the EU and Malaysia the trade between the two parties is expected to increase even further.

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