French retail giant Carrefour has unveiled plans to open seven stores in Uzbekistan over the next two years.

The retailer, in partnership with UAE-based retail and leisure operator Majid Al Futtaim, hopes to open seven new stores in the Central Asian country’s capital of Tashkent by 2021.

As part of the initial roll-out phase, Carrefour will open three supermarkets and one hypermarket by the end of 2020, with a further two supermarkets and another hypermarket to be bought online by 2021.

Carrefour said its entry into Uzbekistan would create 2,500 jobs and benefit some 600 local suppliers, producers and farmers.

Carrefour’s executive director for international partnerships, Patrick Lasfargues, said: “We are delighted to be bringing our stores and products to Uzbekistan via our long-standing partnership with the Majid Al Futtaim group.

“With our support, our partner is implementing an active strategy to grow Carrefour’s network in the countries in which it is well established, as well as new ones where its expertise will help it quickly establish itself as a market leader.”

Managing director of Majid Al Futtaim retail, Hani Weiss, said: “Uzbekistan struck us as an ideal market to introduce the Carrefour name – it is enjoying fast economic growth and there is consumer demand for a modern form of retail. We see Uzbekistan as a stepping stone to the rest of the central Asian market.”