Malaysia – Information & Communications Technology

OMRON Malaysia - Harmony between people and technology
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  • This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data


    The National Information Technology Council of Malaysia (NITC) was established in 1994 functions as the primary advisor to the government on ICT matters. Since that time, the government has been heralding Malaysia as a global ICT hub through development of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) flagship project, the computerization of several ministries and agencies, and the ongoing upgrade of Malaysia’s telecommunications and IT infrastructure.

    During the 9th Malaysia Plan (2006-2010), the government initiated the MSC Net Leap program and expanded it into a network of cyber cities and centers throughout Malaysia. The sector continued its growth during the 10th Malaysia Plan (2011-2015) at an average rate of 6.8 percent per annum.  Under the 11th Malaysia Plan (2016 – 2020) the government is striving to increase the ICT contribution to GDP to 17 percent from 13.1 percent during the 10th Malaysia Plan. (Malaysia Department of Statistics).

    Within the ICT services subsector, there have been interesting structural changes. The contribution of telecommunication services dipped from 65.8 percent in 2011 to 58.4 percent in 2015. However, there was an expansion in the areas of computer service, programming, broadcasting and publishing.

    These changes in growth and sectoral shares are attributed to:

    • The move from traditional computers to smaller ICT devices and wearable gadgets.
    • The increasing amount of real-time and interactive multimedia content supported by mobile technology.
    • The rising popularity of cloud computing, Big Data Analytics, software-as-a-service (SaaS), social media applications, Internet of Things and wearable technology.
    • The integration of systems and processes and ICT services by and with the people and institutions and service providers.

    Information, Communication and Technology
    The chart below showcases the Malaysian and U.S. trade statistics only for the following HS codes:  8523, 8529, 8527, 8528, 8529, 8530, 8531, 8521, 8533, 8535, 8536, 8537, 8538, 8539, 8540, 8541, 8542, 8544, 8545, 8546, 8547, 8548.  Note that this table does not include any values attributed to trade of services.

    2014 2015 2016
    Total Exports      52,623,347,598      47,143,365,935      46,105,830,118
    Total Imports      42,009,407,434      36,045,324,074      35,723,545,734
    Imports from the US        5,862,493,398        5,378,900,466        5,162,857,631
    Malaysia Export to the US      52,623,347,598      47,143,365,935      46,105,830,118
    Exchange Rates 3.28 3.91 4.15

                  Source:  Department of Statistics Malaysia

    Leading Sub-Sectors

    The Malaysian ICT market is gaining momentum and capabilities are being built in digital content, software development and testing, Internet of Things (IoT), data centers and cloud services, cyber security and big data analytics (BDA).


    The Government has taken special interest in developing the Internet of Things (IoT) sub-sector, which has resulted in several market partnerships. The commercialization of ‘smart city’ infrastructure, applications and services – such as smart highways, intelligent traffic management systems and advanced energy management systems – is expected to drive IoT adoption across key social and economic sectors.

    Over the last five years, the datacenter industry has grown rapidly to support 26 datacenter service companies and nearly 200 specialized service providers capable of providing affordable, scalable and high-quality remote data storage and retrieval services to the growing numbers of multinational corporations looking to establish regional headquarters in the country.

    Cloud computing is experiencing investment in data centers and ICT infrastructure in Malaysia. Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Malaysia has named cloud computing as the most important of its top 10 strategic technology priorities. The government hopes that adoption of cloud computing and building on the National Broadband Initiative, could accelerate Malaysia’s development into an advanced economy.  Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) has the highest adoption in cloud computing followed by Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Hybrid Clouds remain the dominant form of deployment by enterprises and this model has been recognized by service providers as a key growth market. While the adoption of cloud computing offers multiple potential benefits, there are also concerns regarding bandwidth consumption, lack of maturity of cloud environments, latency, data security and privacy guarantees from service providers.

    In 2011, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) identified R&D in cyberspace security as a critical issue for the continued development of its IT and telecoms sectors. MOSTI noted that reducing the vulnerability of critical infrastructure such as power grids, air traffic control systems, military and financial systems was imperative to moving forward in this industry. More focus will be given to key areas such as secure communications to protect the confidentiality and integrity of information during transmission and storage,  high availability systems to ensure continuous and uninterrupted operations of critical IT systems, network surveillance to detect and respond to incidents of system disruption, secure access to protect the ICT system from unauthorized entry, and system integrity controls to ensure that a system and its data are not illicitly modified or corrupted.

    With the tremendous increase of data generation due to digitization, Big Data Analytics (BDA) will be crucial for organizations in both the public and private sectors to create value for effective decision-making, productivity growth and innovation.

    Web Resources

    Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI)
    Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC)
    Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia
    Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) Sdn Bhd
    SIRIM Berhad
    The National ICT Association of Malaysia (PIKOM)

     Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting
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