Retail clothing chain Zara could open its first store in India within two years, a spokesperson for parent company Inditex has confirmed to just-style.

The Spanish retail chain has more than 1,400 stores in 70 countries, with the company's international growth currently offsetting the economic downturn in the domestic Spanish market.

Analysts believe there are opportunities for Western fashion retailers in India, thanks to the lack of branded clothing outlets on the sub-continent, fuelling speculation that Zara could soon enter the market.

"The company of course is interested in India, but not in the short term," the Inditex spokesperson told just-style. "We are not thinking of opening a store this year, but maybe in two years it could be interesting."

She added that it was too early to discuss exact plans, but it was likely that the company would expand its retail presence once one store was established.

"The moment we decide to open one store, we will try to open more," the spokesperson said.

However, she said it was too soon to discuss the names of possible partners for the venture.

Reports in India have quoted a list of candidates, including "a global Indian business family", Pantaloon Retail, DLF and Reliance Brands. Last week,

Inditex announced that first quarter profits had risen 10% to EUR219m (US$339m), with sales up 12% to EUR2.218bn.

Analysts suggested that sales had fallen below the company's target levels, but Inditex maintained its full-year guidance of 4% growth in like-for-like sales.