Once a commodity-based economy focussed on rubber and tin, Malaysia is now one of the world’s largest electronic and electrical products producers, with almost 36% of all exports comprised of these products. Over 80% of the country’s exports in 2015 being manufactured goods. Goods and services exports comprise over 70% of Malaysia’s GDP, which was US$313.5b in 2015.
In 1991, Malaysia expressed a vision to become a high income, developed economy by 2020 (Vision 2020). This plan includes the eradication of poverty and the advancement of indigenous groups. The country is well on its way toward achieving Vision 2020, but is still faced with a number of economic reforms which need to be addressed to achieve sustainable, long-term economic growth.
The current prime minister has set out to further liberalise the economy, namely in the services sector with a Goods & Services Tax introduced in 2015 bringing their economy in line with other major international economies.
Australia and Malaysia share an extensive cooperation history. 2015 marked the 60th anniversary of Australia’s diplomatic presence in Malaysia.
An Australia-Malaysia Strategic Partnership was elevated in 2015, acknowledging bilateral ties and a desire to shared desire for stable prosperity. Both countries share a longstanding history of economic, foreign affairs, defence and security, and people-to-people cooperation.