Malaysia National Biotechnology Policy

  • General Information

On the 28 April 2005, the National Biotechnology Policy was launched by the then Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Abdullah Haji Ahmad Badawi at the opening ceremony of the BioMalaysia 2005 conference (1). The Policy aims to build a conducive environment for R&D and industry development while leveraging on the country’s existing areas of strength (1) (2). It is targeted by year 2020 Malaysia will be a global player in biotechnology and able to generate at least 20 global Malaysian companies. The National Biotechnology Policy is formulated by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Malaysia (MOSTI) and has been the motivation behind the establishment of the Malaysian Biotech Corporation as a professional one-stop agency with the main target to develop country’s biotech industry and responsible for executing the Policy’s objectives (3).

The Ministry has outlined nine initiatives to realise the country’s potential in the biotechnology sector and two of the initiatives are closely linked to the natural products development. These two thrusts reflect one of the main principles behind the national biotechnology policy - which is to leverage the country's existing capabilities and to move them up the value chain. They are:

  • Thrust No. 2 - Healthcare biotechnology development
  • To capitalise on the strengths of biodiversity to commercialise discoveries in health-related natural products and bio-generic drugs. 
  • Thrust No. 3 - Industrial biotechnology development
  • To leverage our strong manufacturing sector by increasing opportunities in bio-processing and bio-manufacturing (2) (3).

The implementation of the National Biotechnology comprises of three major phases and presently the Policy is in Phase 2 (year 2011-2015) of implementation which focuses on the development of expertise in discovery and new drugs development from natural resources. (3) In addition, thrust No. 8 of the National Biotechnology Policy sets out to build international recognition for Malaysian biotechnology and undeniably, Malaysia needs to identify its niche areas and strengths to offer to the world. In fact, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical (derived from medicinal herbal) are some of the niche areas that Malaysia will focus on to develop its healthcare biotechnology. With the development of healthcare biotechnology in the country together with full government support, there is a great opportunity for Malaysia to be among the major players in healthcare industry (2) (3) (4) (5).

  • Contact Details 

Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation
Level 1-7, Block C4 & C5,
Complex C, Federal Government Administrative Centre,
Wilayah Persekutuan Putrajaya
62662 Malaysia
Tel: +603-8885 8000
Fax: +603-8888 9070


  1. Speech by YAB Dato’ Seri Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi, Prime Minister of Malaysia at the Launch of BioMalaysia 2005. 2005 Apr 28.
  2. Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. National Biotechnology Policy, (2005).
  3. Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Malaysia (MOSTI). Policies & roadmaps; national biotechnology policy. Malaysia [updated 2005 Apr 28, cited 2012 Oct 25]. Available from:
  4. Biotechnology—a sustainable alternative for chemical industry, (2005). Biotechnology Advances, Vol. 23, Issues 7-8, p. 471-499.
  5. Malaysia National Innovation Model. 2007.