Kota Kinabalu, capital of Sabah
Kota Kinabalu, capital of Sabah

Rapid growth since independence, and especially in the 1980s, enabled Malaysia to transition from an agriculture-based economy to a semi-industrialized nation by the new millennium. Agriculture had the highest contribution to the economy at around 30% in the 1970s but was superseded by services, accounting for over 50% of economic activity by 2019.

Robust growth continued in the past 2 decades, and while growth narrowed in recent years, private consumption remained the driver of economic expansion, with significant contributions from tourism, small and medium-sized enterprises, and knowledge-based services. Inflation remained low.

As an upper middle-income country, the country’s poverty rate is low at 0.4% by 2016 when compared to 49% in 1970. With much progress also being made toward increasing incomes, Malaysia’s focus has shifted to addressing the well-being of the population. Reforms have been initiated toward increasing private investment, improving productivity, and empowering human capital. The Government of Malaysia also places strong emphasis on promoting regional Malaysia cooperation, particularly initiatives that enhance environmental sustainability.

In Malaysia, BIMP-EAGA covers the states of Sabah and Sarawak and the federal territory of Labuan.

Sarawak and Sabah are part of the West Borneo Economic Corridor (WBEC), which also includes Brunei Darussalam and West Kalimantan in Indonesia.

Sabah is part of the Greater Sulu–Sulawesi Corridor (GSSC), which also includes North Sulawesi in Indonesia, and Mindanao and Palawan in the Philippines.

BIMP-EAGA Officials and Contacts in Malaysia

H.E. Dato' Seri Mohamed Azmin Bin Ali 
Minister of Economic Affairs

Senior Official
Dato' Saiful Anuar Bin Lebai Hussen
Secretary General
Ministry of Economic Affairs

National Secretariat
Dr. Suhana Md Saleh
Deputy Director, Regional Development Section, Economic Planning Unit
Ministry of Economic Affairs


Priority Infrastructure Projects with Malaysia as Lead Country

As of 14 November 2019

No. Project Name Estimated Project Cost (US$ Million)
1 Pan-Borneo Highway (Sarawak and Sabah) 7,000
2 Construction of Kalabakan Road, Serudong (Sabah) 193
3 Limbang Bridge (Sarawak) 50
4 Sandakan Airport 20
5 Mukah Airport 93
6 Expansion of Sepangar Bay Container Port 231
7 Lahad Datu Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (Container Port) 201
8 Dredging of Tawau Port 6
9 Dredging of Kuching Port 100
10 Limbang Hydro Project 1 (Sarawak-Sabah Interconnection) 160
11 Limbang Hydro Project 2 (Sarawak-Sabah Interconnection) 345
12 Limbang Hydro Project 3 (Sarawak-Sabah Interconnection) 487
13 Lawas Hydro Project (Sabah-Sarawak Interconnection) 211
14 Bekalalan Border Immigration Post 4