Malaysia is staking a claim to become one of tropical Asia’s top retail therapy destinations, equaling neighbors Hong Kong and Singapore in percentage of total tourist spending on shopping in 2020. Projections estimate retail spending for that year to be RM58.89 billion (US$18.2bn) but a group representing Malaysian shopping malls is even more optimistic, predicting RM63 billion ($19.5bn).

Such a figure would be four times the 2009 total, which represented 28% of all tourist spending. Singapore’s current figure is around 35% while Hong Kong’s shoppers work out their wallet-opening muscles most at 57%. If achieved, the Malaysian Association of Shopping and Highrise Complex Management’s (PPK) goal would put Malaysia’s tourists at 40%.

Malaysian malls already have a competitive advantage with rental rates 25% cheaper than Singapore’s, but tariffs of up to 30% on imported goods would need to come down for Malaysia to offer retail prices attractive enough to lure tourists away from Asia’s more famous shopping spots, the PPK said.

source & article: Business Times