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  • Writer's pictureBait Al-Amanah

Policies and Practices on Illicit Trade in Malaysia

Illicit trade continues to pose a significant challenge in Malaysia: It remains in the top 10 list of countries responsible for the global illicit wildlife trade; has one of the highest illicit cigarette prevalence in the world, with over 4 out of 5 cigarettes smoked in East Malaysia being illicit; and the black market which includes counterfeit good trade amounts to an estimated RM300 billion or 21% of gross domestic product (GDP) annually.

The Malaysian government has in place policies to curb illicit trade which include robust regulations, enforcement efforts, technology utilisation, public awareness and international cooperation. Thus, this policy brief seeks to outline the scope, scale and impact of illicit trade in Malaysia, with a specific emphasis on counterfeit goods, illicit tobacco products, and wildlife.

More importantly, this policy brief seeks to analyse the current measures and identify areas for improvement. Besides that, we seek to explore new strategies that can be adopted in the Malaysian context by drawing upon international best practices; including promoting holistic education and behavioural change, enhancing comprehensive enforcement efforts, and investing in strategic partnerships which include the establishment of an ‘ASEAN Working Group against Illicit Trade’, strengthening the security of Free Trade Zones (FTZs) through the Safe Zone Certification Program and investing in securing habitats on the ground as a direct measure to address illicit wildlife trade.

By combining critical analyses of current policies and innovative policy recommendations, this policy brief aims to inform evidence-based policy decisions and support the development of a comprehensive and robust framework to combat illicit trade effectively.

Read more here.

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