HO CHI MINH CITY, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Vietnamese government has agreed in principle to build an underground shopping center in downtown Ho Chi Minh City alongside the city's first metro line, with estimated investment of some 314 million U.S. dollars.

With an area of 45,000 square meters, the shopping center with 90 meters in width and 500 meters in length, the largest of its kind in Vietnam, will run from Ben Thanh Market to the Ho Chi Minh City Opera House at a depth of three meters under Le Loi Street, Vietnam News Agency reported Monday.

The underground shopping center will require investment of around 7 trillion Vietnamese dong (some 314 million U.S. dollars). The project has so far attracted only one interested investor from Japan, which has suggested funding 30 percent of the project, while the remaining would be covered by the Vietnamese government.