ESR on Wednesday announced its expansion into Thailand with the development of two industrial and logistics parks representing a capital investment of THB 8 billion ($235 million).
The Hong Kong-listed group’s first project, expected to be completed by the end of 2025, is at Rojana Industrial Estate Laemchabang on the country’s eastern seaboard and will have a gross floor area of 93,000 square metres (1 million square feet), ESR said in a release.
The second project, due for completion by the end of 2026, is in Asia Industrial Estate Suvarnabhumi near Bangkok’s main international airport and will have a GFA of 253,500 square metres. The developer has also opened a country office.
“ESR’s expansion into Thailand is in line with one of our three growth pillars to expand our New Economy business which includes logistics, data centres, life sciences and high-tech industrial sectors, especially in Southeast Asia, one of the fastest-growing regions in the world,” said ESR co-CEOs Jeffrey Shen and Stuart Gibson.
ESR plans to invest a further $1 billion in Thailand over the next five years through its development funds, in line with the country’s forecast of a compound annual GDP growth rate of 3.3 percent through 2027.
Spread over a land area of 160,000 square metres, the park at Rojana Industrial Estate Laemchabang is situated 15 minutes from Laem Chabang seaport within Chonburi — one of three provinces comprising the Eastern Economic Corridor, a special economic zone offering tax incentives for projects to locate there.
The park at Asia Industrial Estate Suvarnabhumi spans 363,500 square metres of land near access routes to the centre of Bangkok, making it ideal for the distribution of goods via air freight and the movement of temperature-sensitive items, according to ESR.
As the second-largest economy in Southeast Asia, Thailand is an important component of the developer’s strategy for the region, said Jai Mirpuri, head of Singapore development and Thailand at ESR.
“We believe that the strategic locations, compelling offerings and sustainable features of our properties, backed by our local team of expertise, will attract tenants that are MNCs in the new economy and high-growth sectors,” Mirpuri said.
Exploring the Kingdom
In addition to the two properties under development, ESR intends to explore opportunities to invest in other popular logistics and industrial hubs such as the Bangna-Trad and Wang Noi areas of Greater Bangkok, then expand to other parts of Thailand including Chiang Mai in the north, Surat Thani in the south and Khon Kaen in the northeast.
Beyond capital investment, Shen and Gibson see potential for ESR to create job opportunities in Thailand, share best-in-class knowledge and expertise to uplift the skill sets of the local workforce, and add valuable infrastructure for further development of the economy.
“Our strong focus on ESG and track record in developing innovative and sustainable properties will also support Thailand’s transition to a low-carbon economy,” the co-CEOs said.
Backed by shareholders including the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, Singapore sovereign fund GIC and China’s JD.com, ESR manages $150 billion in total assets across Asia Pacific, Europe and North America.