VNRE - Netherlands-based mall developer ECC International Real Estate yesterday announced plans to invest US$400-500 million over the next five years to develop five to six malls in Viet Nam and Thailand.
Its first resort-style mall, to cost 2.9 billion baht ($96 million), is scheduled to open in the Thai city of Chiang Mai next December.
Tjeert Kwant, president and chief executive officer of the company, said ECC would announce its first project in Viet Nam, a mall in HCM City, in the next three months.
"Viet Nam is recognised as a different kind of market from Thailand, and our first shopping mall in HCM City will have a ‘downtown mall' concept with a small footprint and maximum utilisation of retail space," Kwant told the Thai English language newspaper The Nation.
The company decided to shift its investment focus from Europe to Southeast Asia around six years ago since the continent's shopping-mall market was reaching saturation.
"We are entrepreneurial, and we have started our business in Thailand with a good feeling. We feel the potential is 100 per cent both in Thailand and Viet Nam," Kwant said.