60 per cent of the population comprises ethnic Malays, 26 per cent of the population is Chinese while the rest are Indians and other indigenous races. Since 1971, Malays have witnessed positive discrimination and ethnic Chinese are wealthiest of all communities in Malaysia socially as well as politically whereas the Indians are the poorest. The global economic downturn has dented the economic prospects in Malaysia. The government introduced an economic stimulus plan worth $16bn in 2009 to deter the effect of the approaching recession (“Malaysia Profile”). Branding association of Malaysia The Branding Association of Malaysia was established in July 2000. It advocates unity between the member countries in order to identify solutions to policies and problems that are challenges to the brand. The Branding Association of Malaysia has contemplated the establishment of a branding association for the Asean countries so that brands’ needs across the region with respect to product promotion and marketing can be addressed. Countries member of Asean include Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Myanmar, Laos, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. President Datuk Eric Chong has suggested all member countries to establish their branding association by approaching small and medium enterprises and identify valuable brands: “We are ready to help Asean business associations to establish similar organisations like us. Currently, we are helping our friends in Thailand to set up a branding association” (Chong cited in “Branding Association”). Business communities can use the branding association in order to prepare for the 2015 Asean Economic Community. As an Asean member, Malaysia has taken effective measures for greater liberalization of trade among the member countries in 2003 to realize the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA). ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is another major trade initiative that strives for the achievement of economic and trade integration regionally by the year 2015 so that free flow of services and goods, capital and investment can be facilitated among the member countries. According to the research carried out by the World Trade Organization, benefits obtained from the trade facilitation reform would affect ASEAN significantly. For example, trade would be boosted by 7.5 per cent with the improvement in port facilities and by 5.7 per cent with the improvement of competitiveness in the sector of internet services in the region (“Doing business in” 16). Resources Malaysia is a resource-rich country. The two main exports of Malaysia are palm oil and petroleum. Petrol is nationalized and its revenues contribute up to 40 per cent of the annual governmental budget of Malaysia (Coca). The palm oil conglomerates in Malaysia are the world’s largest and make up 39 per cent of the palm oil production all over the world (Coca). Natural resources were almost a third of the total exports of Malaysia in 2012 (Coca). While the resource-rich countries conventionally experience the eruption of civil wars in them because of decreased dependence on the taxes for revenues and accordingly lesser accountability to the citizens, Malaysia is one such resource-rich country that has shown growth and stability by making correct use of its resources. Malaysia is located alongside the world’s busiest trade route i.e. the straights of Malacca. Malaysia
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