Spotlight on Malaysia: Emerging markets and opportunities for growth

As the fourth-largest economy in South East Asia, what lies ahead for Malaysia’s food and beverage manufacturers?

By Agatha Wong

Much like other countries around the world, Malaysia experienced disruptions to its economy during and after the stabilisation of the COVID-19 pandemic — in 2020, the country experienced a 5.6% fall in its GDP.

However, it has seen a positive economic growth since, with a 3.1% growth observed in 2021 and a further stronger growth of 5.5% in 2022. These figures are partly attributed to Malaysia’s status as an export-oriented economy, as well as a central role in supplying goods such as crude oil, palm oil, etc. And while the country will experience rising inflation and supply chain disturbances, Hellen Woon, event director of the Malaysia International Food & Beverage Trade Fair (MIFB) 2023. is certain that Malaysia’s food and beverage industry will prevail due to its strong culinary heritage and the government’s renewed outlook on promoting the sector.

“Malaysia’s diverse culinary heritage, steady growth in consumer and tourist spending, and government initiatives promoting gastro-nomic tourism contribute to a promising market. MIFB’s remarkable growth from 2022 to 2023 reflects the readiness of the ASEAN F&B markets to expand, supported by Malaysia’s strategic location and strong trade relationships. As an ideal hub for the F&B industry, Malaysia offers immense opportunities for growth and innovation. The increasing focus on sustainability and healthy living further enhances the potential for innovative solutions and products.”

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