Malaysia is to raise its minimum drinking age from 18 to 21, according to a news report.

Authorities in the country laid out proposals for the change in a filing to the World Trade Organisation today, Reuters has reported. A timeline for the new ruling was not disclosed but the filing said it was part of a strategy to limit access to alcohol for under-age and vulnerable people.

The Government also wants to implement new packaging requirements that will highlight the dangers of alcohol abuse. Other members of the WTO have 60 days to comment on the proposals, according to the report.

According to Euromonitor, Malaysia's alcoholic drinks market grew in volumes last year but at a slower pace than in 2013. Rising living costs and stagnant wages meant that growth in the market would be limited.

Volumes in Malaysia for Heineken's Tiger beer, which tends to attract younger drinkers than brand Heineken because of its lower price point, grew "strongly" in Q3 results released in October, Heineken said.