Resource-rich diversified economy Perak teeming with business opportunities

Overview of Perak
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Perak is one of the most economically active states in Malaysia. The state is rich in natural resources, and used to have one of the richest tin deposits in the entire Peninsular Malaysia. Fishing and shipbuilding industries are also well developed here, and the state is now moving towards a major automobile manufacturing base, education hub, industrial powerhouse and tourist destination in the country. Northern Perak is also part of the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER) while the various districts in the state have been geared towards rapid development in the agricultural, commercial and industrial sectors. The state of Perak is teeming with business opportunities and immeasurable potentials for investors.

Perak, the state is rich in natural resources and cultural.
Perak, the state is rich in natural resources and cultural.

In the Malay language the word “Perak” means silver. The state was named Perak because early inhabitants here mistook the rich tin deposits here to be silver. Perak began to grow rapidly a century ago thanks to the thriving tin-mining industry. After the tin-mining industry went into decline in the 1980s, the state government began to diversify the state’s economy into other sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, construction, fishing, timber and tourism. Today, the state has evolved into a primary commercial, industrial, educational and investment hub, and is one of the Malaysian states with the most developed economies. Perak practices the constitutional monarchy system of administration with the Sultan as the head of state.


eng02Geographical location

Perak is situated on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It boasts a land area of 21,000 sqkm, the second largest on the peninsular. It borders Selangor to the south, Kedah and Thailand to the north and the Straits of Melaka to the west. Half of the state’s area is covered by equatorial rain forests straddled by the Perak River and flanked by the Main Range and coastal plains. The state is rich in natural resources, and is nicknamed the Blessed Land.



According to the 2010 population census, Perak had a population of 2,436,400, with the Kinta district having the largest concentration of the state’s population (32.6%). The ethnic make-up of the state’s population is as follows: Malays 53.68%, Chinese 31.35%, Indians 12.78%, others 0.32% (numbering 6,536) and non-citizens 1.87% (numbering 38,345). The ratio of urban Chinese population in Perak is the second highest in the country.



According to the Statistics Department data, the economic growth rates of Perak in 2011 and 2012 (GDP, based on 2005 fixed prices) were 7% and 7.3% respectively, among the top four in the country.

The contribution of various sectors towards the state’s GDP in 2013 is as follows:

GDP (million ringgit) year-on-year growth (%)
Services 264,255.7
Manufacturing 80,925.7
Construction 131,620.20

(Source: Statistics Department Malaysia)


The state of Perak is also one of the focal points of tertiary students in the country. Perak Tengah and Kampar districts boast several private and public institutions of higher learning. According to education ministry statistics, there were 33,420 students studying in the 19 private institutions of higher learning and colleges in the state in 2013, contributing directly to the rapid development of the relevant areas’ real estate and services sectors.


Tourism and recreation

Perak boasts a long coastline and a large number of idyllic islands, pristine lakes, waterfalls, forest reserves and limestone caves, contributing significantly to the growth of eco-tourism industry. Among the major tourist destinations in the state are Pulau Pangkor, Sam Poh Cave, Perak Cave, Spritzer Eco Park and firefly sanctuary, among others. Modern recreational facilities such as Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS) and the Lost World of Tambun are also being developed in the state.

Aquaculture has been identified as one of the critical activities to ensure food security since the Seventh Malaysia Plan (1996-2000).
Aquaculture has been identified as one of the critical activities to ensure food security since the Seventh Malaysia Plan (1996-2000).

Perak tourism statistics 2013

Hotel guests 2,383,180
Registered hotels/inns 186
Major sightseeing attrations 64

(Sources: Tourism Malaysia)

Government vision

The state government has a vision to turn Perak into a peaceful and prosperous state through its 3 Qualities (3Q) program and 7 key result areas (KRAs) in a bid to elevate the various economic sectors in the state for the well-being of the state’s residents.

The 3Q Program
  1. The Quality of the people’s opportunities
  1. The Quality of the people’s living
  1. The Quality of the people’s income


The 7 key result areas for Perak
  1. To achieve balanced wealth distribution and development in the state, to lift the living standards of the lower income group.
  1. To create a community of skilled, knowledgeable and civilized people.
  1. The state government as the catalyst in economic development to enhance the capacity of government deliverance.
  1. Develop infrastructure and public amenities to meet the state’s needs.
  1. Encourage young people to take part in the establishment of a harmonious society.
  1. Sustained private sector development to improve the state’s investment and business environments.
  1. Green environment and recycling.

Economic characteristics of various districts in Perak

State capital Ipoh is located in the Kinta district founded on its rich tin deposits. Today, the city is also the administrative center of Perak situated right in the middle of the state, and is known for its breathtaking scenery being surrounded by pristine hills and dotted with scenic lakes.

There are a total of eleven districts in Perak. The individual districts boast their own unique natural resources and as such the state government has identified different development programs to diversify the economy of these districts.


The economic characteristics of the 11 districts:

  1. Hulu Perak is located in the mountainous northeast of the state, and is the largest in terms of land area. Here you can find the Kroh checkpoint for access into southern Thailand. It will be developed into a major free Trade Zone.
  1. Perak Tengah district is located in central south of Perak, and is a college city with several of the state’s tertiary institutions.
  1. Hilir Perak is in southwestern Perak with thriving fishing and shipbuilding industries thanks to its coastal location.
  1. Kinta district, central west of Perak where the state capital Ipoh and administrative hub are located. Kinta district boasts an active real estate and commercial scene.
  1. Larut, Matang and Selama district in northwestern Perak is a prosperous commercial and industrial hub.
  1. Kerian district along the northwestern coast of Perak with an emerging aquacultural industry.
  1. Kuala Kangsar district in central eastern Perak is the royal town where one can find royal palaces, mausoleum, mosque and other royal institutions that give the district a distinct edge in tourism development.
  1. Batang Padang district in southeastern Perak is a major automobile manufacturing base.
  1. Manjung district in central west of Perak with thriving agricultural and aquacultural industries is also known as the Rice Bowl of Perak.
  1. Kampar district in southeastern Perak known for its UTAR campus and tertiary education hub.
  1. Mu’alim district, a new district in southern Perak announced by the state government in 2014. Proton City will be incorporated into this new district following the redelineation exercise.