This chapter includes the following articles.
As a leading force in regional integration through the ASEAN trading block, Malaysia has managed to consolidate its position as the principle gateway to South-east Asia. Though smaller in terms of market size than its neighbours, it has consistently punched above its weight in attracting foreign direct investment dollars. Despite external headwinds in 2015 and the beginning of 2016, Malaysia has managed to grow its overall trade volumes in local currency by 1.2% in 2015, reaching a total of RM1.5trn ($371.3bn), equivalent to 127% of GDP. This chapter contains a viewpoint from US President Barack Obama, and interviews with Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General, ASEAN; Thongsing Thammavong, Former Prime Minister of Laos and 2016 ASEAN Chair; Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade; and Dzulkifli Mahmud, CEO, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation.