Malaysia’s textile and clothing industry is one of the country’s largest established manufacturing sectors. Overall, the industry employs over 90,000 people directly, and its exports were valued at US$3.3 bn in 2017. The Malaysian government has ambitious plans for the industry, and an export target of US$6 bn has been set for 2020. Moreover, the continuing importance of the textile and clothing industry to Malaysia is highlighted in the country’s Third Industrial Master Plan (IMP3), which has identified industrial and home textiles, functional fabrics, high-end fabrics and garments, and ethnic fabrics as growth categories.
The textile industry in Malaysia benefits from low import duties on industrial goods, membership of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and bilateral trade agreements with the EU, Chile, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and Turkey. That said, Malaysia faces increased competition from lower cost competitors in countries such as Bangladesh and Cambodia. Also, the textile and clothing industry in Malaysia is dependent on the importing of raw materials—particularly for the manufacture of fabric. However, as the industry shifts towards the manufacture of higher added value products, Malaysia has the potential to develop industrial and home textiles, functional fabrics and high value fabrics and clothing.
This report looks at the development of the textile and clothing industry in Malaysia and its size and structure, and features: a geographical, political and economic profile; a detailed look at the country’s imports and exports; a review of government policies and investment incentives; an analysis of the industry’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT); and an examination of Malaysia’s infrastructure and human resources and how these affect the industry.