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Aeon's Myanmar debut marks milestone in reform

A new joint venture will take over Orange stores like this one in Yangon.

YANGON -- The approval of Japanese retailer Aeon to open up shop in Myanmar is a hallmark of the country's economic reforms, a result of efforts by the new government overseen by Aung San Suu Kyi and a byproduct of its membership in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The company will be the first foreign entity to operate retail stores in the country. It will work with the operator of 14 Orange supermarkets in Yangon and Mandalay, in the country's north. That is a rather sizable network for Myanmar, where chain stores have still yet to take root. Orange is one of the country's top three retail chains.

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