Malaysia-South Korea Free Trade Agreement Resumes

Malaysia-South Korea Free Trade Agreement Resumes

According to a statement from the Investment, Trade and Industry Ministry, Malaysia and South Korea (ROK) have resumed the Malaysia-Korea Free Trade Agreement (MKFTA). This agreement is set to increase bilateral trade and investment between the two nations.

Currently, both countries are parties to the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement. Bilateral trade growth and industry demand between the two countries have been encouraging, and the MKFTA is expected to bolster existing economic ties. 

“In the last few years, Malaysia-ROK’s bilateral trade has shown an upward trend that we must continue to build on. As Malaysia’s eighth largest trading partner, and a key collaborator to Malaysia’s Look East Policy, the resumption of the FTA between Malaysia and ROK is both timely and strategic. Malaysia-ROK trade relationship has existed for over four decades, and we also hope to leverage on this to help us move our target industries up the global value chain in sectors such as E&E, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, the green economy and chemicals,” said YB Datuk Seri Utama Tengku Zafrul Aziz, Minister of Investment, Trade, and Industry for Malaysia.

In 2023, the total trade value with the ROK amounted to around RM111.1 billion (US$24.3 billion). Malaysia ranks as the third largest trading partner for the ROK in the ASEAN region, and the 12th largest globally, with total trade amounting to RM118.4 billion (US$25 billion) in the same period.

Some of the major Malaysian exports to the ROK were electrical & electronics (E&E), liquefied natural gas (LNG), petroleum products, manufactures of metal and optical & scientific equipment. On the other hand, Malaysia’s major imports from the ROK include petroleum products, E&E products, chemical and chemical products, machinery, equipment and parts, as well as iron and steel products.

With regards to investments, The ROK plays a key role in Malaysia’s economy, accounting for some of the nation’s top sources of Foreign Direct Investment for the manufacturing sector. As of December 2023, a total of 390 projects worth US$10.7 billion (RM40 billion) have been implemented, generating 48,374 jobs. The majority of these investments were in chemical and chemical products, basic metal products, electrical and electronics, petroleum products and food manufacturing products. It is estimated that around 500 Korean companies are operating in Malaysia. 

According to the statement, Malaysian investments in Korea amounted to US$10.2 million (RM48.2 million) based on quarter three data in 2023. Investments were in manufacturing (electronics, steel, petrochemicals, etc.), construction, IT services, wholesale and retail, logistics, etc.

Get even more financial clarity with an iMoney account for FREE

We’ve tailored insightful tidbits just for you.

Continue with email

By signing up, I agree to iMoney’s
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy

Get free weekly money tips!

*Free of charge. Unsubscribe anytime.
newsletter image