German cash and carry/wholesale group Metro AG has revealed that it will open its first outlet in Kazakhstan during summer 2009 in Astana, the country's capital.
The group announced that it had signed an agreement with the Kazakhstan government on the investment, with €15-€20m set to be spent on the Metro Cash & Carry store and a possible 10-15 outlets to follow.
"With its rapid economic growth and in particular the swift development in the hotel, gastronomic and service sector, Kazakhstan offers great potential for our self-service wholesale business," said Frans Muller, CEO of Metro Cash & Carry International. "By entering the Kazakh market we are once again acing as a first mover and consequently pursuing our international expansion strategy."
Kazakhstan's Minister of Industry and Trade Vladimir Sergeevich Shkolnik welcomed the move. "This step confirms the dynamic economic development of our country, he explained. "Kazakhstan is showing its success in the development of its industry and trade sector and is thus attracting the interest of foreign investors."