YAOHAN International Holdings' chairman Kazuo Wada is optimistic about the development of the retail market in Shanghai's Pudong new area and is confident people will cross the Huangpu river to shop. The group's Nextage Shanghai department store, tipped to be the largest in Asia, will be opened in the area's Lujiazui zone on December 20. Mr Wada said the project symbolised a 'futuristic China' both in the design of the complex and as a reflection of the mainland's economic liberalisation. He expected 500,000 people to visit the store on the opening day and 100 million each year. The group believes Chinese consumers' growing spending power is a good reason to invest in the mainland retail industry. In the past three years, the group has invested in projects worth US$500 million.