Transport Minister pushes for establishing more duty free shops

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BANGKOK, 19 Jan 2015, – In light of the Transport Minister’s plan to do away with monopoly in the nation’s duty free market– bringing King Power International Group’s control over the industry to an end– several foreign and domestic companies have expressed interest in setting up their duty-free shops in Thailand, says Transport Minister Air Chief Marshal Prajin Janthong. 

According to the ACM, the plan will lead to the opening of several more duty free shops in Thailand’s major cities, which will serve as goods distribution hubs at airports; corresponding to the country’s plan to establish free trade in the ASEAN region.

The Minister said that South Korea’s duty free giant ‘Lotte’ approached the officials last week, inquiring about possible opportunities in Thailand.

He said the plan was viable as the monopoly contract with King Power would end in 4 years’ time for the shop in Suvarnabhumi International Airport, and 7 years for the one in Don Muang International Airport.

For the time being, ACM Prajin has assigned the Airport of Thailand and related agencies to study the possibility of having more of duty free shops set up in airports in Thailand. One of the approaches he has come up with is having these franchises set up in residential areas and pick up their goods at the airports.

In addition to South Korea’s Lotte, Minister ACM Prajin said, Hong Kong-based DFS Group and Thai-owned Central Group have also expressed interests in setting up their duty free shops.