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Top 12 Export Companies in Malaysia and How to Start One

Malaysia has emerged as one of the leading export-oriented economies in Southeast Asia, owing much of its success to a diverse range of industries and companies. 

In this analysis, we will delve into the profiles of Malaysia’s top 15 export companies, examining their competitive differences and export specialities. 

These companies represent the core of Malaysia’s export prowess, contributing significantly to the country’s economic growth and global trade relationships.

What is an Export Company

An export company, also known as an exporter or trading company, is a business entity that specialises in selling goods or services produced within a particular country to customers or clients in other countries. 

These companies play a pivotal role in international trade and commerce, facilitating the exchange of products and services across national borders.

 

Top 12 Export Companies in Malaysia

Export companies come in various forms and can specialise in different types of products and services. They can be manufacturers, trading companies, commodity exporters, export distributors and brokers, or freight forwarding companies.

1. Genting Berhad

Profile: Genting Berhad is a diversified conglomerate interested in leisure and hospitality, plantations, property development, and oil and gas.

Competitive Difference: The company’s integrated resorts, including Resorts World Genting, attract millions of tourists and contribute to its competitiveness.

Export Specialty: Integrated leisure and hospitality services, real estate development, and palm oil products.

2. Intel Technology Sdn Bhd

Profile: Intel Technology Sdn Bhd is a subsidiary of the American semiconductor giant Intel Corporation. Located in Penang, Malaysia, it specialises in the manufacturing and exporting of microprocessors and integrated circuits.

Competitive Difference: Intel’s advanced manufacturing technologies and strong R&D capabilities give it a competitive edge in the semiconductor industry.

Export Specialty: High-performance computing chips, data centre technologies, and innovative semiconductor solutions.

3. IOI Corporation Berhad

Profile: IOI Corporation Berhad is a major player in the palm oil industry, with integrated operations spanning from plantation to downstream processing.

Competitive Difference: Vertical integration and sustainable practices contribute to its competitive advantage.

Export Specialty: Palm oil, speciality fats, and oleochemicals.

4. MISC Berhad

Profile: MISC Berhad is Malaysia’s leading international shipping company, specialising in transporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) and petroleum products.

Competitive Difference: The company’s LNG and petroleum shipping expertise sets it apart in the maritime industry.

Export Specialty: LNG and petroleum shipping services.

5. Nestlé (Malaysia) Berhad

Profile: Nestlé (Malaysia) Berhad is a subsidiary of the Swiss-based Nestlé Group and is involved in producing and distributing food and beverage products.

Competitive Difference: Nestlé’s global brand recognition and commitment to quality set it apart in the food industry.

Export Specialty: Food and beverage products, including coffee, dairy, and confectionery.

6. Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Berhad

Profile: Panasonic Manufacturing Malaysia Berhad is Japan’s Panasonic Corporation subsidiary, specialising in producing consumer electronics and electrical products.

Competitive Difference: Quality and innovation are Panasonic’s trademarks, contributing to its competitiveness.

Export Specialty: Consumer electronics, home appliances, and electrical components.

7. Petronas Chemicals Group Berhad

Profile: Petronas Chemicals Group is the chemical manufacturing arm of Malaysia’s national oil and gas company, Petronas. It produces a wide range of petrochemical products.

Competitive Difference: Access to abundant raw materials and integration with the energy sector strengthens its competitiveness.

Export Specialty: Petrochemicals, polymers, and speciality chemicals.

8. QSR Brands (M) Holdings Berhad

Profile: QSR Brands (M) Holdings Berhad operates popular fast-food chains in Malaysia, including KFC and Pizza Hut.

Competitive Difference: QSR Brands’ strong brand presence and diverse menu offerings contribute to its competitiveness.

Export Specialty: Fast-food and restaurant services.

9. Samsung Electronics (M) Sdn Bhd

Profile: Samsung Electronics (M) Sdn Bhd is South Korea’s Samsung Group subsidiary. It focuses on manufacturing consumer electronics, including televisions and appliances.

Competitive Difference: Samsung’s strong brand and global market presence provide a competitive advantage in consumer electronics.

Export Specialty: Consumer electronics, home appliances, and smart devices.

10. Sime Darby Berhad

Profile: Sime Darby is a diversified multinational corporation involved in plantations, property, industrial, and motors.

Competitive Difference: Its diversified portfolio and global presence enhance its competitive edge.

Export Specialty: Palm oil products, real estate development, industrial products, and automotive services.

11. Top Glove Corporation Berhad

Profile: Top Glove is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of rubber gloves and other healthcare-related products.

Competitive Difference: Scale, innovation, and a global distribution network make Top Glove a leader in its industry.

Export Specialty: Rubber gloves, personal protective equipment (PPE), and healthcare supplies.

12. Western Digital

Profile: Western Digital, headquartered in California, has a strong presence in Malaysia, with multiple manufacturing facilities. It is a leading global data storage solutions provider.

Competitive Difference: Western Digital’s extensive product range, including hard disk and solid-state drives, contributes to its competitiveness.

Export Specialty: Data storage devices, cloud storage solutions, and data management products.

 

Note: Please note that inclusion in this list does not imply an official endorsement by Luwjistik. These companies have been selected based on their widespread popularity and general opinion. We value your input if you believe any deserving ones have been left out.

 

Types of Permits and Licenses Needed to Start an Export Company in Malaysia

Beyond the company registration and business license, other licenses and permits are essential for legal compliance for export companies, ensuring the quality of exported goods and adherence to international trade regulations.

1. Import/Export Permit from MATRADE

Applying for an Import and Export Permit in Malaysia is essential for businesses engaged in international trade. MATRADE, the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation, is the relevant authority that issues such licenses. 

Application Process for Import/Export Permit

1. Determine Your Eligibility

Before you start the application process, ensure that your business activities require an import and export permit from MATRADE. MATRADE primarily promotes exports, so it’s essential to confirm that MATRADE is the appropriate authority for your specific products or services. Some businesses may need to apply for other licenses from different authorities, such as the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), for an Approved Permit (AP).

2. Register Your Business

To apply for a permit with MATRADE, your business should be registered and operating legally in Malaysia. Ensure you have the necessary business licenses, such as a business license from the local authorities.

3. Gather Required Documents

You must prepare a set of documents to apply for a permit. The requirements may vary depending on your business activities and the products you intend to export. Commonly required documents include:

  • Company registration documents: This includes the Certificate of Incorporation and Form 24 (Return of Allotment of Shares), Form 49 (Return Giving Particulars in Register of Directors, Managers, and Secretaries), and Form 9 (Return of Purchases of Shares).
  • Business license: Ensure you have the relevant business license to operate in your business area.
  • Letter of Intent: A written explanation of your business activities, the nature of the products you intend to export, and the countries you plan to ship to.
  • Export sales contract or agreement: If applicable, provide documentation that shows your business has overseas customers or partners.
  • Catalog or brochure: Provide information about the products you plan to export.

4. Prepare a Cover Letter

Write a cover letter to MATRADE explaining your intent to apply for a permit. In the letter, briefly describe your business, the nature of your products or services, and your overseas export markets.

5. Complete the Application Form

You must complete the MATRADE Import and Export License application form. The form can be obtained from MATRADE’s official website or by visiting their office. Ensure that you provide accurate and complete information on the form.

6. Submit Your Application

Submit your application and supporting documents to MATRADE’s headquarters or the nearest MATRADE branch office. Check the MATRADE website or contact their offices for information on the nearest location.

7. License Issuance

If your application is approved, MATRADE will issue the permit. You may be required to pay a fee for the license, the amount of which can vary. Ensure you keep a copy of the license for your records and present it when necessary for export customs clearance.

8. Compliance and Renewal

Compliance with the terms and conditions of your permit is crucial. These licenses are typically issued for a specific period, and you may need to renew them periodically. Be aware of any reporting or documentation requirements that MATRADE may impose.

 

2. Industry-Specific Licenses and Permits

The export industry in Malaysia is diverse, encompassing various sectors, each with its own licensing and permit authority, which you will need to follow up with. 

  • Electrical and Electronics (E&E) License
    • The Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) 
  • Palm Oil License
    • Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB). 
  • Oil and Gas License
    • Department of Environment
    • Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs
    • Department of Petroleum Resources
  • Chemicals and Chemical Products License
    • Department of Environment and other regulatory bodies 
  • Agricultural and Food Product Licenses
    • Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services (MAQIS) 
    • Department of Veterinary Services 
    • Ministry of Health 
  • Healthcare Product Licenses
    • Medical Device Authority (MDA) 
    • National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA)

 

Top 12 Export Sectors in Malaysia

Malaysia’s highly diversified economy, with various sectors contributing to its export revenue. Some sectors generate more revenue than others with more support and infrastructure, making it easier for new export companies to enter the market.

1. Electrical and Electronics (E&E)

Malaysia is a global hub for producing electrical and electronic products. This sector includes manufacturing semiconductors, consumer electronics, computer hardware, and communication equipment. Companies like Intel, Western Digital, and Samsung have a significant presence in Malaysia.

2. Palm Oil and Palm Oil Products

Malaysia is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of palm oil and related products. These products include crude palm oil, palm kernel oil, and palm-based derivatives used in the food, cosmetics, and biofuel industries.

3. Oil and Gas

Malaysia has a well-established oil and gas industry. It exports petroleum and natural gas products, focusing on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and petroleum products. Companies like Petronas play a vital role in this sector.

4. Chemicals and Chemical Products

Malaysia exports a wide range of chemical products, including petrochemicals, speciality chemicals, and oleochemicals. The country’s strategic location near raw material sources contributes to its competitiveness.

5. Machinery and Equipment

Malaysia manufactures and exports machinery and equipment for various industries, including construction, agriculture, and manufacturing. This sector includes products like industrial machinery and heavy equipment.

6. Medical Devices and Healthcare Products

The export of medical devices, including gloves and other personal protective equipment (PPE), became increasingly important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Malaysia is a leading supplier of rubber gloves to the global market.

7. Agricultural Products

Besides palm oil, Malaysia exports other agricultural products, including rubber, cocoa, and timber. Rubber and rubber-based products have a significant export value.

8. Automotive and Automotive Parts

Malaysia has an established automotive industry and exports fully assembled vehicles and components. Companies like Proton and Perodua manufacture cars for domestic and export markets.

9. Textiles and Apparel

Malaysia exports textiles, clothing, and apparel products to various countries. It has a well-developed garment manufacturing sector.

10. Renewable Energy Equipment

Malaysia has been increasing its exports of renewable energy equipment, including solar panels and related components. This sector has seen growth as countries adopt cleaner energy sources.

11. Information Technology and Software Services

Malaysia provides IT and software services to global clients, including software development, IT outsourcing, and back-office support.

12. Aerospace and Aviation

The aerospace sector, particularly the manufacturing of aircraft components and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services, is gaining prominence in Malaysia.

 

How Luwjistik Helps

One of the critical sources of revenue growth for any export company is an efficient supply chain. Your business will need timely and cost-effective delivery of freight. That’s why you need a logistics platform like Luwjistik for the foundation of your export business. It is a logistics platform solution designed to help export businesses kickstart and streamline processes, establish connections to a network of logistics service providers, and simplify the supply chain — without requiring investment in on-ground logistics assets. 

Here’s how Luwjistik can assist you:

  • Marketplace
    • Luwjistik’s Marketplace connects logistics service providers to a diverse network of over 80 partners across 22 countries. This extensive network offers a wide range of logistics and freight options and transparent cost management, facilitating well-informed decision-making.
  • L-Freight
    • L-Freight offers an all-in-one platform for businesses engaged in export shipments. This platform streamlines selecting suitable freight, submitting comprehensive shipment orders, and efficiently managing customs documentation. It also provides cost-saving benefits through group buy rates, allowing businesses to optimise transportation costs, thus improving overall operational efficiency for export shipments within a single logistics framework.
  • Unified API
    • Luwjistik streamlines your delivery operations by offering a Unified API, allowing seamless integration with multiple logistics service providers through a single interface. This simplification reduces complexity, making it easier to compare and select the most suitable logistics and freight partners worldwide, including in Malaysia. It enhances the efficiency of your supply chain and logistics processes without additional resources.

To embark on a transformative journey and explore these strategic logistics approaches, visit our website at luwjistik.com or contact our representative at commercial@luwjistik.com today.