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Ranked 11 of 26 for comprehensive power, with an overall score of 18.0 out of 100.

Lost 0.3 points (−2% change) in overall score in 2023.


Malaysia is a middle power in Asia.

The country’s overall score declined by 0.3 points over the past year. In Southeast Asia, it is the third most powerful country after Singapore and Indonesia.

Malaysia performs best in the cultural influence measure, placing sixth. In 2022, Malaysia rose two places in cultural influence, largely the result of increased online interest in the country.

Malaysia’s lowest ranking is for its military capability, where it places 16th. Malaysia consistently ranks between eighth and 12th on all other measures.

Malaysia’s scores for economic relationships and diplomatic influence increased in 2022, suggesting that it is still managing to maintain an active regional role despite continued political instability.

Malaysia exerts more influence in the region than expected given its available resources, as indicated by the country’s positive power gap score, which increased in 2022.

Read more analysis in the Key Findings report. Explore further results in the Scores section.

Bilateral Influence

Bilateral trade, current dollars (2020)

Countries that influence Malaysia

Globally, which countries does Malaysia do most of its trade with?

China 23.2%

Singapore 12.2%

United States 10.1%

European Union 8.0%

Japan 6.9%

Countries influenced by Malaysia

Which countries in the region rely most on trade with Malaysia?

Brunei 12.2%

Singapore 10.9%

Indonesia 4.9%

Thailand 4.3%

Papua New Guinea 3.9%