Italian footwear brand Geox is poised to open more than 200 points of sale in China by 2010, confirming details of its distribution deal with Belle International.

The strategic partnership gives Hong Kong-listed Belle, the biggest footwear retailer in China, exclusive distribution of Geox products in the country.

Geox said the deal was aimed at establishing it as a leading casual footwear brand in the Chinese market, opening more than 200 points of sale, including shop-in-shops, over the next two years.

Brand awareness will be built through investment in advertising and promotion, the company added.

Geox described China as "a very attractive market with its continuous development, growing economy and increasing consumption power".

"Today is an important day for our global expansion strategies," said Geox founder and chairman Mario Moretti Polegato.

Belle International executive director Yu Ming Fang added: "There is great potential for the development of the leisure segment in the shoes market."