2019 Marketplace Expansion Index

The ecommerce and sharing economies are booming. Thousands of fast-growth marketplaces are emerging all around the world.
This index examines the top 36 countries for ecommerce and sharing economy platforms to expand.

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2019 Rank # | 2018 Rank #

Big Mover




A country ripe for disruption but lacking players who can take advantage as a digital marketplace.

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Marketplace Expansion Index Rank

Down 1 Spots from 2018 Index Rank of #24


  • Government-run programs help to place workers in the gig economy
  • Gig economy is the fastest growing segment of the economy
  • High penetration of Internet and broadband services


  • Logistics remains a challenge for goods-based marketplaces
  • Political turmoil can lead to currency fluctuations
  • Businesses are not set up to take advantage of digital penetration

Facts You Can't Forget


Sharing is Caring. According to the Finance Ministry’s Economic Report 2017/2018, Malaysia’s sharing economy is projected to reach RM17 billion (USD $4,084,080,000) by 2020, with the country striving to be a regional leader in the sharing economy.


Plugged In. Malaysians are already one of the most digitally connected societies in the world, and 80 percent have access to the Internet, mainly through mobile networks.


Online Shopping Addiction. Nearly half of Malaysians shop online. User penetration is expected to increase to 63 percent in 2022, with spending per person increasing to nearly $118.7, according to the World Bank.

Ranking Highlights

For our full explanation, visit our methodology page



The fundamentals of any society and enterprise, including: payment infrastructure, ease of doing business, and Logistics Performance Index.



You’re only as good as your people. Factors in this category include: levels of English proficiency and participation in freelance employment.

Ecommerce Activity


This category assessed ecommerce opportunity size, retail ecommerce growth and ecommerce as a percentage of retail transactions.



The fate of foreign entrants, based on the volume of cross-border transactions and if a global marketplace dominates that geography.

Essential Reading

"As part of ASEAN—the world’s third largest market by population—Malaysian companies can benefit from looking beyond national borders for new growth opportunities made possible by digital innovation. However, most Malaysian companies remain in the early stages of their digital transformation journeys. Many have yet to realise improved financial performance through the execution of digital strategies."

"The country needs to achieve ubiquitous, fast, and inexpensive Internet connectivity for businesses and households; fix the way it regulates the Internet so unfair and damaging business practices can be corrected; improve human capital through better curriculum and life-long learning opportunities; encourage more vibrant private sector finance so digital entrepreneurs can bring ideas to market; and take measures that will safeguard future tax revenues to improve public services and reinvest in areas that the economy needs most."

"In Malaysia, the e-hailing industry has empowered working persons, students and even housewives to have an extra source of income and serves as a valuable alternative to consumers."