KUALA LUMPUR: The positive development in the retail sector is an indication of rising disposable incomes and increasing affluence of Malaysians, said Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting.
A report by the Retail Group Malaysia showed that the sector grew at a rate of 7.5% last year compared with the Gross Domestic Product growth of 5.8%, while Malaysia's per capita income was RM11,500 last year compared with RM6,100 in 2001, Ong said.
He said this in his speech at the Malaysian Retail Chains Association (MRCA) Chinese New Year gathering.
He said MRCA with its 93 members contributed at least RM4.2bil in annual retail sales which was a notable achievement for the 15-year-old association,
“As we progress, we have to compete with markets such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok for tourist dollars,” he said.
Ong urged the industry to step up customer service and refurbish stores during Visit Malaysia 2007.
“With the targeted 20 million visitors to our country this year, I am confident that tourism shopping will hugely benefit all members of the industry,” he said.