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Wal-Mart looks to enter Malaysia

Wal-Mart has applied to open stores in Malaysia, five months after the Southeast Asian country announced it was easing restrictions on foreign “hypermarkets,” according to Bloomberg.

"The government is still vetting the applications," Malaysian minister of domestic trade and consumer affairs Shafie Apdal told the news service.

Another official, deputy trade minister S. Veerasingam, said Wal-Mart has shown interest in entering the Malaysian market, but declined to further elaborate on whether the retailer had made a formal application, according to AFP.

The country recently has sought an increase in foreign investment, including a goal of 6 percent economic growth by 2007. Malaysia, however, banned foreign companies from setting up retail superstores in 2002.

Wal-Mart operates in 13 different countries -- in Asia, the retailer has locations in Japan and China.