Revealed comparative advantage of malaysian exports: The case for changing export composition

Mahani Zainal Abidin, Wai Heng Loke

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Since 2000, Malaysian-manufactured exports performance has been declining. The downturn of the global electronic industry and the rise of China's economy are the two major causes of this decline. To improve export performance, Malaysia participates in multilateral, regional, and bilateral trade liberalization. The competitiveness of Malaysian manufactured exports can be improved by examining the pattern of revealed comparative advantage (RCA). Within the non-resource-based manufactured exports, Malaysia still has comparative advantage for electrical and electronic goods and machinery (its largest export item), even though it has been on a decline. Malaysia's export strength has also gradually shifted from non-resource-based to resource-based manufactured exports. The RCA estimates also suggest that trade liberalization must not only lower or eliminate tariffs on final products, but also reduce import duties if exports were to increase their competitiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-147
Number of pages18
JournalAsian Economic Papers
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations


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