GUANGXI capital Nanning plans to open its retailing market to foreigners. Nanning mayor Xie Ruxuan said last week he expected Beijing to grant approval for the move this year. He added that a number of well-known Hongkong names had already expressed interest. Since Nanning got permission to become an open city last June, the local government has moved quickly to tap foreign investment. Building up the retail industry is in line with these aggressive policies. Last year, retail sales increased 20 per cent to be worth 4.04 billion yuan (about HK$5.4 billion). The government expects retail sales to increase to five billion yuan this year. The Nanning Government also plans to redevelop the Zhao Yang shopping district. China had restricted foreign participation in the retailing market until last year when Yaohan Department Store announced it was opening a joint venture in Shanghai. At present, 11 cities have been allowed to open their retailing industry to outsiders. These are Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Xiamen, Shantou, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Hainan.