Imported goods are channeled into the Malaysian market through local branches of large European mercantile firms; by local importers with buying agents abroad; through branch offices and representatives of foreign manufacturers; by local Chinese, Indian, and Arab merchants who import directly; and by commission agents. Chinese merchants occupy an important place in the marketing structure and control a large share of the direct import trade. For warehousing of imported goods, the facilities of the port of Singapore are used, while rubber for export is warehoused mainly on plantations.
The usual business hours are from 8:00 AM to 4:15 PM , Monday–Friday including an hour long lunch break, with generally a half-day on Saturday. In Kelantan, Terengganu, Johor, Perlis, and Kedah states, Thursday is a half-day and (in keeping with Islamic practice) Friday is the day of rest. English is widely used in commerce and industry.
Newspaper and motion picture advertising is directed toward the higher-income consumer, while radio advertising, outdoor displays, and screen slides are used for the lower-income consumer, who is less likely to be literate. A code of practice and ethics governing advertising is in force, with restrictions on advertising of some products, such as alcohol and tobacco. Trade fairs are supervised by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.