Despite the gloomy global economy, leading local retailers vow to maintain their business plans in order to meet sales projections this year.
Infrastructure projects and the AEC will boost Rayong, says Ms Wallaya. APICHART JINAKUL
Central Pattana Plc (CPN) is the most active, intending to use 3.2 billion baht to build a new shopping mall in Rayong and capture rising spending power in the industrial eastern province.
Wallaya Chirathivat, CPN's senior executive vice-president for business development and project construction, voiced confidence in the local economy, saying CPN is investing for the long term.
The Rayong project begins next month and will conclude by the end of 2014.
Rayong offers business potential with its 19 industrial estates. The province wants to help Thailand become the "Detroit of Asia", as many car makers have operations in Rayong.
Ms Wallaya said CentralPlaza Rayong will sit on Bang Na-Trat Road near the Koh Kloy intersection and have 130,000 square metres of retail space, featuring a Robinson Department Store and other retail shops under the Central Group.
The new mall plans to serve more than 820,000 people living in Rayong plus 3 million in nearby provinces.
Ms Wallaya said growth in the province will come from numerous megaprojects such as the Bangkok-Chon Buri-Rayong high-speed train, the Chon Buri-Pattaya-Map Ta Phut Motorway, the Asian Highway R10 route and the southern coastal corridor that connects Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
"We believe the commencement of the AEC will attract more investment from foreign investors and Rayong will become the country's gateway to Cambodia and Vietnam," said Ms Wallaya, referring to the upcoming Asean single market.
She said purchasing power is high in the province, with per-person income averaging 1.25 million baht and a gross provincial product of 750 billion baht.
The real estate boom in the province, especially in condominiums, prompted CPN to make its investment.
The firm also plans to open a new shopping centre in Salaya, Nakhon Pathom. Rival The Mall Group has responded by injecting 200 million baht into renovations at its complex, The Mall Bangkae.
Another entrant is the TBN Group's Paseo Park community mall on Kanchanaphisek Road, just five kilometres from The Mall Bangkae.
About the author
- Writer: Pitsinee Jitpleecheep
Position: Business Reporter