Japanese fashion retailer Fast Retailing has established a joint venture in Malaysia to develop its Uniqlo chain in the southeast Asian nation.

The partnership has targeted the end of 2010 for the opening of the country’s first Uniqlo store, but this could be brought forward to as early as this autumn.

“We have positioned Asia as a strategic region and we think Malaysia has a very good business potential,” said Uniqlo spokesman Daisuke Hase.