Malaysia - Country Commercial Guide
Equipment & Machinery
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Advanced Manufacturing: Demand for automation and digitalization exports continue to increase post-pandemic to modernize and standardize Malaysia’s manufacturing sector including global supply chain suppliers. Malaysia’s second tier manufacturers, component manufacturers, and service providers are being incentivized by the Government of Malaysia (GOM) to increase digital integration including automation to stay competitive in the region.

Over the decades, Malaysia has consolidated and improved its Electrical and Electronics (E&E) sector, but the country has not been able to evolve into a manufacturer of complete equipment. Instead, industry stakeholders have created niches for themselves as either a manufacturer of components or as Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM).

The following groups of export products represent the highest dollar value in Malaysian global shipments in 2020. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Malaysia.

Malaysia’s top 10 exports accounted for almost 81.2 percent of the overall value of its global shipments. This data highlights the opportunity for the Machinery & Equipment (M&E) industry as an area for growth and development, with a focus on high value-added M&E.  


Value (US$B)

Total Export (Percent)

Electrical machinery and equipment



Mineral fuels including oil



Machinery, Equipment and Parts



Animal/vegetable fats oils waxes



Optical technical medical apparatus



Plastic and plastic articles



Rubber products



 Iron and steel



Other chemical goods






3. Top 10 Malaysian Exports. Source: MATRADE

Leading Sub-Sectors

  • Specialized process machinery or equipment for specific industry
  • Metalworking machinery
  • Power generating machinery and equipment
  • General industrial machinery and equipment, components as well as parts

There are currently 1,418 companies of all sizes in the M&E industry across multiple fields, including power generation, metalworking, specialized-process M&E for specific industries, general industrial M&E, modules and industrial parts, and remanufacturing of M&E. These fields include 197 companies involved in the production of semiconductor M&E and 143 companies involved in robotics and factory automation systems. Malaysia is the leading manufacturer of specialized-process machinery for the E&E industry and automation equipment in the Southeast Asia region.  

Malaysian M&E companies can provide a full range of services, including design & development, test simulation, software programming, structure fabrication, module assembly and integration as well as automation solutions. They can produce advanced machinery with full automation and robotics handling systems and can easily integrate into global supply chains. Notable companies in the industry include Advantest, SRM, Vitrox, Muehlbauer, Pentamaster, UMS, and Multitest. 

Driven by industry trends, including Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), M&E companies are currently improving their production processes. These companies are adopting vital Industry 4.0 technologies to increase the level of automation, connectivity, and Big Data Analytics (BDA) required in a smart factory environment. This trend includes connecting cyber and physical systems via an Enterprise Resource Planning system as well as employing remote monitoring, machine-to-machine communication, and fully robotic, automated assembly lines in their production floors.

In 2020, Malaysian importers purchased the following ten subcategories of machinery, including computers:


Value US$

Percent change from 2019

Computers, optical readers

2.5 billion


Computer parts, accessories

1.7 billion


Miscellaneous machinery

1.3 billion


Machinery for making semi-conductors:

978 million



802.2 million


Printing machinery

794.9 million


Centrifuges, filters and purifiers

817.2 million


Taps, valves, similar appliances

773.5 million


Air or vacuum pumps

630.2 million


Machinery parts

532.6 million


4. Top 10 Malaysian Imports. Source: MATRADE

Products of interest and classifications by the Malaysian Harmonized System Tariff Codes are as follows:





Of turbojets or turbo-propellers



Machinery for the treatment of materials by a process involving heating, for the manufacture of printed circuit boards, printed wiring boards or printed circuit assemblies


Machinery for the treatment of material by a process involving heating, for the manufacture of printed circuit boards, printed wiring boards or printed circuit assemblies


Parts of machinery for the treatment of materials by a process involving heating, for the manufacture of printed circuit boards, printed wiring boards or printed circuit assemblies


Printing machinery used for printing by means of plates, cylinders and other printing components of heading 84.42; other printers, copying machines and facsimile machines, whether or not combined; parts and accessories thereof.


Automatic data processing machines and units thereof; magnetic or optical readers, machines for transcribing data onto data media in coded form and machines for processing such data, not elsewhere specified or included.


Machinery for assembling central processing unit (CPU) daughter boards in plastic cases or housings; apparatus for the regeneration of chemical solutions used in the manufacture of printed circuit boards or printed wiring boards; equipment for mechanically cleaning the surfaces of printed circuit boards or printed wiring boards during manufacturing; automated machines for the placement or the removal of components or contact elements on printed circuit boards or printed wiring boards or other substrates; registration equipment for the alignment of printed circuit boards or printed wiring boards or printed circuit assemblies in the manufacturing process.

5. Product description with corresponding HS Coding. Source: Royal Custom and Excise Department of Malaysia


Malaysia has become the hub of excellence for the semiconductor sector. It also aims to realize said success across other sectors. Below are relevant U.S.-company sectoral opportunities:

Specialized M&E: Industries targeted include electrical & electronics, solar/photovoltaic (PV), semiconductors, oil and gas, automotive, packaging, plastic extrusion and injection, agriculture, etc. In the electrical & electronics sector, Malaysia is a production base for the world’s top electronics companies such as Intel, Freescale, Renesas, Agilent, Hitachi, lnfineon, Texas Instruments, National Semiconductor, and X-Fab. The world’s top solar companies, i.e. First Solar, Hanwha Q-Cell, and Sunpower, have set up their operations in Malaysia.

Oil, Gas, and Energy: With the increasing growth of deep-water activities in the South China Sea and off North-West Australia, the market for subsea oil and gas (O&G) production equipment and technology is expected to increase. The GOM is trying to make Malaysia the O&G hub in the Southeast Asian region, and to achieve this objective it is encouraging Malaysian companies to get involved in the manufacturing and supply chain of O&G types of machinery and equipment via PETRONAS. Few companies in Malaysia have the capacity to invent new machinery or equipment for the O&G industry and the long, tedious, and stringent O&G requirements discourages entry to the market. However, Malaysia has been building itself as a center of excellence for the OEM of such machinery and equipment. There exist opportunities to supply precision equipment for the manufacturing of these OEM products.

Aerospace – Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul: Malaysia enjoys five percent of the global maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) market, and aims to become an MRO hub in the region. Malaysia is already a supplier of aerospace components for Airbus SE, Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Safran, Honeywell, and Thales. However, it is only manufacturing non-critical parts such as fan cowling and casing, thrust reverser, forward leading edge, aircraft door, avionics equipment, galley equipment, seats, and carbon brakes. The GOM is trying to move local players up the supply chain, and in its 2nd Aerospace Industry Blueprint 2016-2030, the government is strengthening coordination between all related agencies to promote the country’s aerospace ecosystem. For Malaysia to move up the supply chain to include critical aerospace parts, it must invest and upgrade its human capital and production capabilities to include more sophisticated items in its product range.


  • Industry4WRD Malaysia
  • Malaysia Industry Development Authority
  • Malaysia Aerospace Industry Association
  • Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation
  • Ministry of International Trade and Industry
  • Petroliam Nasional Berhad
  • Small-and-Medium-Enterprises Corporation Malaysia