Mall operators and retailers are hoping to make Malaysia a hot regional shopping destination, leveraging advantages like lower rent spaces and new tax breaks on 300 imported goods announced in the 2011 budget.

The Malaysian Association for Shopping & Highrise Management (PPK) is now confident the new tax breaks will see their industry grow by 10 to 15% in the coming year, having predicted a 5-8% rise before the budget announcement. The new environment should also bring in more retail investment from overseas, and a few international brands have already pricked up their ears upon hearing about the changes.

Representing the retailers themselves, the Malaysian Retailer-Chains Association (MRCA) is also confident but remains cautious the international economic environment will impact growth. Its forecast for retail growth remains at the more conservative 5-8% figure. All groups are hoping to see increases both in local sales and retail tourism, with Malaysia competing with traditional destinations Hong Kong and Singapore on price.

source & article: Business Times