Thailand-headquartered Central Group
plans to expand its retail, hospitality and real estate development businesses in Vietnam, where consumption is growing fast in tandem with a vibrant economy, according to Thai media.
It will develop its own hotels and shopping malls in the neighboring country, Bangkok Post reported.
“There are many businesses, especially hotels and shopping malls, that have not been yet been developed in Vietnam by Central Group. We will also continue the expansion of our existing businesses in the country,” said Jariya Chirathivat, a representative of Central Group and Central Group Vietnam.
Central Group Vietnam was established in 2011 with the debut of a 450-square-metre Supersport store, along with Crocs and New Balance stores, in Vincom Center Ba Trieu, a luxurious shopping center in downtown Hanoi.
Central's current retail operations in Vietnam include the Nguyen Kim appliance chain, Lan Chi Mart supermarkets, Big C
hypermarkets and the Robins department store. It took over online fashion retailer Zalora's Vietnam operation earlier this year.
It will triple its presence in Vietnam following the acquisition of Big C Vietnam’s 43 branches comprising 33 hypermarkets and 10 convenience stores for $1.04 billion in late April.
It plans to open four or five new Big C, Nguyen Kim and Lan Chi Mart stores each year.
"We will continue the expansion of our major retail chains in Vietnam. We plan to open four to five stores every year from each of our major retail chains, comprising Big C, Nguyen Kim and Lan Chi Mart," Chirathivat said.
“Our future investment in Vietnam will be through joint ventures with local partners in the country so that we can transfer our know-how and experience and grow the business together.”
“There is huge potential to expand our retail business in Vietnam. The Vietnamese economy is now about 30% of the Thai economy, up from 10% in the past 20 years,” she added.
The outstanding characteristics of Vietnam, compared with other neighboring countries, are the government's stability and its investment-friendly policy, said Sanan Angubolkul, president of the Thailand-Vietnam Business Council and chairman and president of Srithai Superware.
“The Vietnamese government decided to participate in various bilateral and mutual trade deals, especially free-trade agreements and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will benefit the country's exports to the U.S. and Europe,” he said.