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Malaysia Consumer Goods Tears, flowers mark 5th anniversary

October 13, 2007

Wal-Mart eyes Malaysia
The US retail giant Wal-Mart is keen to open stores in Malaysia, a junior minister said Friday, amid a government drive to lure investment and boost economic growth.

"Wal-Mart has shown interest," said deputy trade minister S. Veerasingam, but he declined to elaborate further amid reports the company had formally applied to enter the Malaysian market.

He added that German company Metro, one of Europe's largest retailers, had applied for permission to set up operations.

Another official said the entry of foreign retail giants would create jobs. "It will not only provide more jobs locally, but will make the retail market more competitive besides injecting foreign investments in the country," said consumer affairs minister Shafie Apdal.

He said foreign retailers were keen to invest in Malaysia due to the strong purchasing power of local consumers.

Malaysia has restricted the entry and expansion of supermarkets over recent years to protect smaller local businesses.

But major foreign retailers including France's Carrefour, Britain's Tesco, Japan's Isetan and IKEA of Sweden are already operating in the country.

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