Lao World's ITECC Mall opens to the public
ITECC Mall opened for shopping on Saturday morning, just ahead of That Luang festival, and coinciding with a trade fair at the existing Lao-ITECC.
Construction of the new mall began in early 2014 and it's believed to be the country's biggest ever shopping centre, targeting locals and foreigners in search of high-end brands and locally made products.
The mall's grand opening was attended by Mayor of Vientiane Dr Sinlavong Khoutphaythoun, Minister of Industry and Commerce Ms Khemmani Pholsena, Lao World President Mr Sackchai Wongmalasith (Peter Chan), and high ranking officials from the government and the company.
Construction of the mall was the second phase of Lao International Trade Exhibition and Convention Centre (Lao-ITECC)'s project after receiving a concession from the government in 2003, Mr Peter Chan said.
“The project was built on a 106,000 square metre site in front of the existing Lao-ITECC, at a cost of 251 billion kip or about US$29 million with an 80-year lease on the site,” he added.
The nine-storey mall comprises a supermarket, duty free shop, gold and silver jewelle ry stores, fashion clothing stores, shops for household and electric appliances, sports stores, fitness centre, convention halls, business and entertainment venues, health and beauty centres, financial services, and restaurants.
The ground floor parking lot for customers can accommodate about 3,000 cars.
Vice Chairman of Lao World's Board of Management, Mr Visan Nalongsack, said that about 80 perce nt of the retail spaces had already been booked and many shops were open for business, while commercial banks like Banque Pour Le Commerce Exterieur Lao (BCEL), Lao Development Bank (LDB), Lao-Viet Bank (LVB), and Lao-French Bank had begun their services.
“Only the duty free shop hasn't opened yet as we are awaiting documents,” he added.
Lao World is now constructing ITECC's Ocean Park behind the mall. At over 32,000 square metres, the Park will be the largest water park ever built in Laos and have something for people of all ages to enjoy.
This park is expected to open early next year according to the plan, said Peter Chan.
In addition, the company is creating a zoo adjacent to the water park in the hopes it can inspire future generations to be educated in the lives of many types of animals and preserve nature.
The zoo will house a range of animals like horses, kangaroos, snakes, a variety of birds, and other wild creatures from different parts of the world.