CPN rolls out B121bn for store investment
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CPN rolls out B121bn for store investment

Focus on renovation and new projects

Ms Wallaya, centre, said during the period 2017 to 2023, Central Pattana invested an average of 15-22 billion baht annually.
Ms Wallaya, centre, said during the period 2017 to 2023, Central Pattana invested an average of 15-22 billion baht annually.

Retail and property developer Central Pattana Plc (CPN), the operator of Central shopping centres, plans to invest 121 billion baht over five years for store renovation and to open two new projects as customer purchasing power increases and foreign tourist arrivals grow.

The purchasing power of Thai customers has recovered to pre-pandemic levels since last year, says Wallaya Chirathivat, president and chief executive of CPN.

The company reported higher traffic as the tourism sector rebounded, driven by visa exemption schemes as the government looks to emphasise this vital sector, she said.

Malls such as CentralWorld are recording more Chinese customers, while Central Phuket has more Russian customers.

The Thai government has granted visa-free access for tourists from China and Kazakhstan and also approved a visa exemption scheme for Russian tourists for a maximum of 90 days.

Ms Wallaya said that from 2017-2023, the company invested an average of 15-22 billion baht annually. From 2024 to 2028, the company plans a total investment of 121 billion baht to continue its project development plan, asset enhancement, and mixed-use extension nationwide.

In 2024, the company aims to launch 13 new projects, including shopping centres in Nakhon Sawan opened in January and Nakhon Pathom, scheduled to open on March 30.

The real estate developer also plans to open 10 residential projects, and a new hotel in Rayong in collaboration with an international chain, bringing the total number of shopping centres to 42, community malls to 17, residential projects to 43, hotels to 10, and office spaces to 10 in 2024.

Chanawat Uahwatanasakul, chief development and commercial officer of CPN, said the company plans to spend 23 billion baht over five years to renovate Central Pinklao, Central Bangna, Central Chaengwattana, Central Rattanathibet, Central Pattaya and Central Marina.

Central Krabi is scheduled to open next year, valued at 4.5 billion baht, with a low-rise residential project as the next phase of mixed-use project development.

Moreover, CPN plans to develop five mixed-use projects with a combined area of over 2.2 million square metres, Mr Chanawat said.

These projects will be located in super-prime locations around Bangkok, situated on major roads and connected to the skytrain.

The first project, Dusit Central Park, is set to open in September this year, with the new Dusit Thani Hotel, followed by the opening of the office building and the Central Park shopping centre in mid-2025.

However, the four other projects will be announced by the company in the second half of this year.

Ms Wallaya said the challenge right now is that tax barriers are still high as Thailand's import duty is about 30% higher than in Singapore.

"In terms of increased spending of Thais and foreign visitors, we would like to ask the government to consider reducing import duties by at least 50%," she said.

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