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A strong demand for modern and quality retail space in Viet Nam has made it now a lucrative destination for investors, according to property experts.

Viet Nam's retail market was listed ahead of China, India and Russia as the most attractive in the world, according to US-based international management consulting firm AT Kearney.

Renato Shordon, associate director of CB Richard Ellis Viet Nam Co. Ltd, made the announcement at a seminar reviewing the Ha Noi property market on Thursday.

At the same time last year, AT Kearney listed Viet Nam as the world's fourth most attractive retail market.

"Despite the extremely unsettled global economic context, the domestic retail market remains appealing to both local and international investors," Shordon opined.

Total retail sales of goods and services in the first nine months of the year reached US$42.95 billion, a nominal increase of 30 per cent over the same period last year, he said.

Shordon quoted a survey by The Nielsen Company on consumer confidence, concerns, spending and attitudes to the recession in June, showing that the Vietnamese are among the most optimistic consumers internationally, ranking ninth in the world.

The top four are Norway, India, Indonesia and Denmark.

A shortage of modern and quality retail space meant the market had great potential to investors, according to Shordon.

"Given the limited stock of quality retail centres, rental rates remain at a high level." he said, providing Ha Noi as a prime example.

The city's total retail space stock is now around 100,000sq.m, with an average occupancy rate of 90 per cent.

Ground floor rent remained at between $65 and $ 130 per square metre per month in the third quarter of this year at the city's central trade complexes such as Vincom City Towers, Pacific Place, Opera Business Centre, Parkson Tower and Trang Tien Plaza.

Shordon said increasing foreign direct investment and flattening inflation, trade deficit and interest rates were good signs for the property market in general.

Source: Viet Nam News

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