THE Malaysian Retailer-Chains Association (MRCA) expects the local retail market to grow between 5 and 6 per cent this year, in line with the country's gross domestic product projection, says secretary-general Valerie Choo.
The retail industry is expected to benefit when the import duty abolishment on 300 tourism-related products, proposed in Budget 2011, is implemented.
The move to remove the import duty will benefit tourists, local consumers and, ultimately, the country, Choo said at a press conference in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, yesterday.
The proposal is expected to help boost the country's potential as a shopping destination and consumer spending.
MRCA is bullish on the industry for 2011, unless external factors such as the economic environments in Europe and America worsen.
Asked about the industry report card last year, Choo said; "We are on track to reach between 6 and 7 per cent growth."
More than 200 retail chain stores and operators are active members of MRCA, covering more than 6,500 outlets throughout Malaysia.
Meanwhile, MRCA is organising a trip to the US to visit the International Franchise Expo in Washington from April 1 to 10 this year.
The trip will be jointly led by MRCA president Datuk Tay Sim Kim, honorary past president Albert Chiang of Bonia Corporation Bhd and immediate past president Lee Hwa Cheng of Sinma Jewellery Centre Sdn Bhd.
MRCA said the trip is part of the association's efforts to provide an opportunity for retailers to explore expansion prospects beyond Malaysia's shores.
The business trip is also open to non-MRCA members at a special price of RM17,500 per person, the association said.