Pantip Pratunam pivots to wholesale trade hub
Repositioning is part of parent Asset World Corp’s five-year development plan
SET-listed Asset World Corp (AWC), the property arm of billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi’s TCC Group, plans to turn its 19-year-old Pantip Pratunam into a new wholesale trade hub for Thai manufacturers.
Wallapa Traisorat, AWC’s chief executive and president, said the IT mall on Phetchaburi Road will present more trade opportunities for Thai products that don’t have a wholesale marketplace, especially as the country has the potential to become a hub in the region for the Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) market.
The development is part of a five-year plan.
The AEC Trade Center encompassing 30,000 square metres is scheduled to open at the end of November.
The building will be made into a 50,000 sq m wholesale space by the first quarter of next year, with 500 vendors in total.
Lifestyle goods, household products, home decorations, toys, wood furniture and fashion accessories are among the types of goods for sale at the AEC Trade Center.
“The wholesale business cannot just rely on the online channel, as buyers have to see the real products,” Mrs Wallapa said. “It is important to establish an AEC Trade Center that offers omnichannels for offline and online.”
Yesterday the group signed two partnership agreements with four prominent Chinese trade and investment agencies.
The first agreement, focusing on connectivity between Asean and China, is a cooperation with the China Shippers’ Association, the Emerging Industry Center of Investment Association of China and the Business Federation under the Belt & Road Investment and Free Trade Alliance policy.
The second partnership aims at promoting high-quality products in China via the Zhejiang China Commodities City Group, a state-owned enterprise that operates the world’s largest wholesale market in Yiwu, Zhejiang province.
The company from China will help support the pilot project at the AEC Trade Center and set up the IC Mall, an export service centre to connect local exporters and the Chinese market.
Anan Lapsuksatit, AWC’s chief wholesale business officer, said there are various operators under the Thai Chamber of Commerce that intend to set up shop at the trade centre.
A budget of 300 million baht was allocated for the repositioning of Pantip Pratunam.
Mr Anan said there will be more partnerships with the CLMV chambers of commerce.
The wholesale department is AWC’s latest business unit, established this year, and aims to contribute 5% of the group’s revenue in the next five years.
Mrs Wallapa said the ongoing development plan, consisting of 10 hotels and two retail projects under a 50-billion-baht budget, will be the same as promised to investors during the IPO a year ago.
She said capital spending per year will remain the same, but the company may be unable to spend it entirely because of negative factors accumulating from the pandemic’s impact.
The opening dates of some projects, particularly in the hotel business, have been revised, such as two top-tier hotels in Chiang Mai under the management of Marriott International that were postponed to 2022.