Malaysia market snapshot
- GDP: US$312.4 billion (2013)
- GDP per capita: US$10,548 (2013)
- GDP growth: 4.7 per cent (2013)
- Population: 29.6 million (2013)
- Trade with Australia: A$17.9 billion (2013)
About the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement
Australia's former Minister for Trade, Craig Emerson, and Malaysia’s Minister for International Trade and Industry, Mustapa Mohamed, signed the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA) in Kuala Lumpur on 22 May 2012. The Agreement entered into force on 1 January 2013.
MAFTA is a comprehensive, high-quality agreement that further integrates the Australian economy into the fast-growing Asian region. The Agreement builds on benefits already flowing to the Australian economy from the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement, which started for Australia and Malaysia in 2010.
Malaysia is Australia’s 9th largest trading partner, with two-way trade worth $17.1 billion in the 2012-2013 financial year. The Agreement opens avenues for Australian goods and services into the dynamic Malaysian market.
MAFTA is an important part of the network of Free Trade Agreements in this region that Australia is pursuing to advance our trade interests in the Asian Century.
Map of Malaysia - quick facts
The island of Labuan has been established as an integrated international business and financial centre.
Perth’s Curtin University and Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology both maintain campuses in Sarawak.
Peninsular Malaysia‘s tropical climate is very favourable for the production of various exotic fruits and vegetables, as it seldom experiences hurricanes or droughts.
To assist business, a schedule is now available showing Malaysia's implementation of its MAFTA tariff commitments in the latest version of the Harmonized System, HS 2012.
For more information see Annex 1 under the Official Documents Tab
The Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA) entered into force on 1 January 2013.
Media release: Free Trade Agreement with Malaysia in Force. 1 January 2013
Australia and Malaysia exchanged written confirmation that each had completed its domestic procedures to allow MAFTA to enter into force on 1 January 2013.
The Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) released its report on the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement on 31 October 2012. JSCOT Report 130 recommended that binding treaty action be taken.
The text of the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA) was tabled in Parliament on August 14 2012. It is now being considered by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) in accordance with Australia's domestic approval processes. JSCOT has called for interested parties and organisations to make submissions on MAFTA. For more information see the JSCOT website.
Former Minister for Trade, Craig Emerson, and Malaysia’s Minister for Trade and Industry, Mustapa Mohamed, signed the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA) in Kuala Lumpur on 22 May 2012.
MAFTA negotiations were finalised on 30 March 2012, consistent with a commitment by former Prime Minister Gillard and Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib to conclude within 12 months of their March 2011 meeting in Canberra.
- Media release: Australia and Malaysia sign free trade agreement, 22 May 2012.
- Speech by former Minister Emerson: Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement Signing Ceremony, 22 May 2012.
- Media release: Trade Minister to visit Malaysia to sign free trade agreement, 21 May 2012.
During a joint press conference with Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib in Canberra, former Prime Minister Gillard committed to finalising the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement.
Here you can locate the full text of the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement and many other associated official documents.
The MAFTA package signed on 22 May 2012 consists of:
- Full text of the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement
- Schedules of tariff commitments containing tariff reduction and elimination commitments and associated product specific rules
- Schedules of specific services commitments
- Schedules of commitments on temporary movement of natural persons
- Side letters on treatment of Malaysian imports of Australian alcoholic beverages, and addressing environment and labour issues
- An implementing arrangement containing an agreed work program of economic and technical cooperation projects
- A non-legally binding exchange of letters offering to facilitate discussions between Australian and Malaysian traditional and complementary medicine industry bodies.
Malaysia's MAFTA schedule of tariff commitments was finalised using the tariff classification format known as HS 2007, and the tariff schedule annexed to the Agreement is in this format. The Product Specific Rules annexed to the Agreement also use the HS 2007 format. However, both Australia and Malaysia now make use of the updated tariff classification format known as HS 2012 and MAFTA has been implemented by the two Parties using this updated format. Malaysia's MAFTA tariff schedule, and the Product Specific Rules, have therefore been converted by the Parties into the HS 2012 format and are included on this page to assist business in making use of the Agreement (along with the HS 2007 versions attached to the Agreement). As Australia's tariff schedule binds tariffs on all products at tariff-free treatment from entry-into-force of the Agreement, it does not need to make use of the above tariff classification formats to record commitments.
Text of the Agreement
Annex 1 — Tariff Schedules (HS 2012)
- Schedule of Tariff Commitments – General Notes
- Schedule of Tariff Commitments Malaysia – Headnote HS 2012
- Schedule of Tariff Commitments – Malaysia – Schedule HS 2012 [XLS 2 MB] | [PDF 1 MB]
- Schedule of Tariff Commitments – Malaysia – Headnote HS 2007
- Schedule of Tariff Commitments – Malaysia – Schedule HS 2007 [XLS 2 MB] | [PDF 1.18 MB]
Tariff Schedules as at 22 May 2012 (HS 2007)
Annex 2 — Product Specific Rules (HS 2012)
- Product Specific Rules – Headnote
- Product Specific Rules – Schedule HS 2012 [XLS 508 KB] | [PDF 1.73 MB]
- Product Specific Rules – Schedule HS 2007 [XLS 503 KB] | [PDF 1.28 MB]
Product Specific Rules as at 22 May 2012 (HS 2007)
Annex 3 — Schedules of Specific Services Commitments
- Australian Schedule of Specific Services Commitments [PDF 176 KB] | [DOC 306 KB]
- Malaysian Schedule of Specific Services Commitments [PDF 314 KB] | [DOC 515 KB]
Annex 4 — Schedules of Movement of Natural Persons Commitments
- Australian Schedule of Movement of Natural Persons Commitments [PDF 35 KB] | [DOC 58 KB]
- Malaysian Schedule of Movement of Natural Persons Commitments [PDF 314 KB] | [DOC 515 KB]
- Side Letter on Alcoholic Beverages – Australia to Malaysia
- Side Letter on Alcoholic Beverages – Malaysia to Australia
- Side Letter on Environment – Malaysia to Australia
- Side Letter on Environment – Australia to Malaysia
- Side Letter on Labour – Australia to Malaysia
- Side Letter on Labour – Malaysia to Australia
Implementing Arrangement for Economic Cooperation
Non-Legally Binding Exchange of Letters
Guide to the agreement
The Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement (MAFTA) will benefit Australian exporters, importers and consumers by opening markets and freeing trade and investment between our two countries.
The Agreement builds on the commitments made by both countries in Australia's regional Free Trade Agreement with ASEAN and New Zealand (AANZFTA).
Guides by sector
- Quick Guide to Agricultural Products and Processed Foods
- Quick Guide to Manufactured and Industrial Products
- Quick Guide to Services
- Quick Guide to Helping Australians to do Business in Malaysia
- Quick Guide to Economic Cooperation
For more information on doing business in Malaysia and about specific export opportunities, see the Austrade website. As well as country-specific information, the Austrade website also has a database that can be searched by industry.
Malaysia is a member of ASEAN and party to the Agreement Establishing the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA).
Government response to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties Report 130
Government response to JSCOT 130 tabled on 17 July 2014
Joint Standing Committee on Treaties Report 130
JSCOT Report 130 tabled on 31 October 2012
MAFTA National Interest Analysis
MAFTA Regulation Impact Statement
Australian Scoping Study: An Australia-Malaysia FTA
In July 2004, Australia and Malaysia agreed to conduct parallel scoping studies of a free trade agreement (FTA). These studies were to provide a basis for the two governments to decide whether to proceed to negotiations.
The study below was Australia's contribution to the parallel scoping studies. Its main focus was the impact of a free trade agreement on Australia. The study found solid and worthwhile economic benefits for Australia from entering into a free trade agreement with Malaysia.
- Terms of reference
- Australia-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement: Australian Scoping Study [PDF 1.5 MB] | [DOC 2.6 MB]
- Measuring the possible impacts of MAFTA - Economic Modelling Report by the Centre for International Economics [PDF 1.1 MB] | [RTF 2.4 MB]
- Public submissions to the Australian Scoping Study
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade invited submissions from individuals or groups on issues relevant to the negotiation of an FTA with Malaysia.
All submissions have been made publicly available on the DFAT website unless the author specified that all or part of the submission should not be made available to the public.
Where organisations have not provided permission for their submissions to be publicly released, these submissions have been omitted from the list below and are not available to the public.
Copyright and content
Copyright in submissions resides with the author(s), not with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The views expressed in these submissions are the views of the author(s) and should not be understood as reflecting the views of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Submissions were provided to us in a range of formats but submissions have been published as PDF files. Free programs are available to read PDFs.
Public submissions to the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement Negotiations
- a3p [PDF 58 KB]
- Alex Malik [PDF 195 KB]
- Australian Film Commission 2005 submission [47 KB]
- Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union (AMWU) 2005 submission [PDF 683 KB]
- Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation (AWBC) [PDF 64 KB]
- Bestlan [7 KB]
- Comasters Law Firm and Notary Public [132 KB]
- Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia [PDF 31 KB]
- Law Council of Australia [PDF 473 KB]
- Law Institute of Victoria 2005 submission [PDF 105 KB]
- Law Institute Victoria [PDF 96 KB]
- Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance 2005 submission [PDF 285 KB]
- Monash University [PDF 42 KB]
- Winemakers' Federation of Australia [PDF 51 KB]
Public submissions to the Australian Scoping Study (as received by sector):
- Business Council of Australia
- Malaysia Australia Business Council
Agriculture, fishing and processed food
- Australian Beverages Council
- Australian Cotton Industry Council Ltd
- Australian Chicken Meat Federation
- Australian Wine & Brandy Corporation
- AWB Limited
- Dairy Australia Limited
- Horticulture Australia Ltd
- Masterfoods Australia New Zealand Pty Ltd
- Meat & Livestock Australia/ Red Meat Industries
- National Farmers Federation
- Ricegrowers Association of Australia
- WA Fishing Industry Council
- Winemakers Federation of Australia
Manufacturing and mining
- Australian Industry Group
- Australian Plantation Products & Paper Industry Council
- Building Products Innovation Council
- Carpet Institute of Australia
- Federal Chamber of Australian Automotive Industries
- Ford Motor Company
- Holden Limited
- Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association (PACIA)
- Remote Control Technologies Pty Ltd
- Textiles and Fashion Industries Association of Australia
- Toyota Australia Limited
- ACIL Tasman
- Australian Nursing Federation
- Australian Film Commission
- ANZ Bank
- Curtin University
- Engineers Australia
- IDP Education Australia Limited
- International Legal Services Advisory Committee (ILSAC)
- Law Institute of Victoria
- Monash University
- Music Council of Australia
- National Institute of Accountants
- Professor Hok-Lim Tan
- Swinburne University of Technology
- Telstra Corporation Limited
Unions, NGOs and others
- Australian Fair Trade & Investment Network (AFTINet)
- Media Arts and Entertainment Alliance
- The Hon Doug Everingham
- Mr John Hyde MLA
States and territory governments
- New South Wales Government
- Northern Territory Government
- South Australian Government
- Tasmanian Government
- Victorian Government
- Western Australian Government
- Email: email@example.com
- Fax: (02) 6261 2187
Free Trade Agreement Division
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
RG Casey Building
John McEwen Crescent
BARTON ACT 0221
For media enquiries, please call DFAT's Media Liaison Section: (02) 6261 1555.