Agriculture and agri-food market in Malaysia

Industry highlights

% 7.1

agriculture contribution to Malaysia’s GDP in 2021.

1.86 million

Jobs in Malaysia’s agriculture sector in 2022.

CA$ 48.26 billion

Total value of agriculture exports in 2021.

The bulk of Canadian exports to Malaysia are linked to the agriculture and agri-food sector.

Malaysia's total agri-food and seafood imports from Canada in 2021 were estimated at CAD 199 million. This represents 0.9% of Malaysia's total agricultural imports.

Top Canadian exports to Malaysia in this sector include potassic fertilizers (potash), as well as oilseeds and cereal grains.

After potash, Canada’s main export commodities are wheat (CAD 59.3 million in 2021) and soybeans (CAD 59.25 million in 2022).

The majority of soy milk consumed by Malaysians is reported as sourced from Canadian non-GMO yellow soybeans. At their peak in 2019, Malaysian imports of Canadian canola oil and canola oil seeds accounted for 65.1% and 25.9% of Malaysia’s total imports, respectively.

Key opportunities for Canadian agriculture and agri-food companies in Malaysia

Notable challenges for Canadian agriculture and agri-food companies in Malaysia

Malaysia business landscape

Malaysia is one of the largest economies in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and is a member the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), CPTPP, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and Commonwealth.

As of January 2021, the population of Malaysia was estimated to be 32,6 million people. In 2022, Malaysia’s real gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 4.4%, its strongest growth in 22 years, while the inflation rate remained stable at 2.8%.

Canada and Malaysia celebrated 65 years of official diplomatic relations in 2022. Bilateral trade rose 17% in 2022 to reach CAD 5.7 billion, with growth in Canadian exports outpacing imports.

Canadian merchandise exports to Malaysia were CAD 1.5 billion in 2022, while imports were valued at over CAD 4.2 billion, consisting primarily of electric machinery, rubber, precisions instruments, furniture, and fats & oils. Although heavily reliant on commodities such as hydrocarbons and palm oil, Malaysia is also a top exporter of electrical and electronic products.


Malaysia is a dynamic economy and a gateway to the increasingly important Southeast Asian region. Population growth and increasing wages are driving demand for Canadian agriculture and agri-food products, which enjoy a good reputation as natural and safe.

Promotion of the fact that common foods in Malaysia contain agricultural staples from Canada is needed. The participation of Canadian exporters to regional and local trade shows is useful in this context.

Major annual trade shows in the agriculture and agri-food sector in Malaysia include:

For more information on agriculture and agri-food in the Malaysian market, please contact

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