AWC preps regional wholesale food hub
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AWC preps regional wholesale food hub

AEC rebranded site set to open in June

A digital rendition of the AEC Food Wholesale Pratunam on Phetchaburi Road.
A digital rendition of the AEC Food Wholesale Pratunam on Phetchaburi Road.

SET-listed Asset World Corp (AWC) Plc, an integrated lifestyle real estate group, is scheduled to reopen its Pantip Pratunum IT centre, which will be rebranded as AEC Food Wholesale Pratunam in June this year.

Pantip Pratunam was originally renovated in 2020 and transformed into the "AEC Trade Center-Pantip Wholesale Destination''. However, due to the pandemic, the company decided to repurpose the centre once again to become a regional wholesale food hub for the Asean Economic Community (AEC), hence its new name. Some 6.5 billion baht has been invested in the project in total since it began.

The project is located on a plot of land covering more than 10 rai near the Platinum, a famous wholesale fashion mall on Phetchaburi Road, and boasts a gross floor area of over 67,000 square metres.

Over 600 units will offer a wide range of food products across eight main categories, including frozen and chilled food, dairy products, condiments, raw materials, rice, beverages, coffee and tea, snacks and sweets, along with household items.

Wallapa Traisorat, the company's chief executive and president, said the launch of AEC Food Wholesale Pratunam is expected to create limitless business opportunities and provide complete solutions via the ecosystem. It would increase the potential for buyers and sellers to transact more conveniently, from product sourcing to delivery and payment.

Furthermore, this project would help reinforce Thailand's position as a gateway for the wholesale industry in the AEC, which comprises the 10 Asean member states and a potential market of over 700 million people, she said.

"With a strong logistics infrastructure, Thailand has the potential to become the true international food-sourcing hub of the region," she said.

Mrs Wallapa said food revenue in Southeast Asia is estimated to reach US$700 billion this year, adding that AEC Food Wholesale Pratunam is expected to help enhance food revenue in the region to reach $900 billion within the next five years. Out of the total of $700 billion for this year, $70 billion would belong to Thailand.

"AWC aims for AEC Food Wholesale Pratunam to become the largest food wholesale destination in the AEC and to support Thailand in becoming a gateway for the global international food-sourcing hub," she said.

She said the project consists of three main components. Firstly, it is an integrated wholesale platform that connects both online and offline wholesale experiences (O2O integration) by bringing manufacturers from all over the world onto one platform. Customers across the region would be able to source a variety of products with comprehensive wholesale infrastructure such as warehouses and loading and unloading areas.

Secondly, it provides a full assortment of eight product categories with advice on export and import, as well as language services.

Finally, the wholesale ecosystem offers limitless business opportunities through collaboration between the public, foreign chambers of commerce in Thailand, and the private sector, including Yiwu, the world's largest wholesale market from China.

"Together, we are strengthening Thailand's wholesale industry towards becoming a strong and sustainable international food sourcing destination within the region," said Mrs Wallapa.

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