Modern trade retailing is a star industry that has good prospects for penetrating Southeast Asian markets. Many leading foreign retail chains have aggressively expanded their branches in the region during recent decades.
Now is the right time for Thailand’s own store operators to find opportunities abroad, benefiting from market liberalisation within the Asean Economic Community and tapping the region’s rising middle class. The key questions are which countries here are worth investing in and which segments are attractive?
Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia the most attractive. Malaysia possesses high purchasing power due to growth in the middle- to high-income consumer segment, which has doubled in the last 10 years, accounting for two-thirds of the population in 2010. Malaysia’s retail sales per capita grew four times faster than Thailand’s.
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