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Liberalisation of the Services Sector in Malaysia

On April 22, 2009 the Government had liberalised the services sector to attract more foreign investments and bring more professionals and technology as well as strengthen competitiveness of the sector.

Recognising the growth potential in the services sector, the Government has decided to immediately liberalise 27 services subsectors, with no equity condition imposed. These sub-sectors are in the areas of health and social services, tourism services, transport services, business services and computer and related services.

Liberalisation of the services sector

To facilitate investments into the services sector, a National Committee for Approval of Investments in the Services Sector has been established under MIDA. This Committee acts as a focal point to receive and process applications of investments in the services sector, excluding investments in financial services, air travel, utilities, Economic Development Corridors, Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) and Bionexus status companies and distributive trade.

The Government had further liberalised an additional 7 broad services sectors, consisting of 18 sub-sectors in 2011 to allow up to 100% foreign equity participation in phases. These sub-sectors are:


  • Telecommunication services (network service providers and network facilities providers licences)
  • Telecommunication Services (Application Service Providers licence)


  • Private hospital services
  • Medical specialist services
  • Dental specialist services

Professional Services

  • Accounting and taxation
  • Architectural services
  • Engineering services
  • Legal services
  • Quantity surveying services

Environmental Services

  • Incineration services

Distributive Trade Services

  • Departmental stores and specialty stores

Education Services

  • Private higher education with university status
  • International schools
  • Technical and vocational secondary education services
  • Technical and vocational secondary education services for students with special needs
  • Skills training centre

Courier Services

Complementing the growth and development in the manufacturing sector, the Government is intensifying its efforts to promote and develop the services sector. The Government will be progressively undertaking liberalisation of the other services sub-sector on an on-going basis.

(source: Malaysian Investment Development Authority)