ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Luxury goods go east
By David Swartzemtruber
The sales of expensive foreign autos in other Asian countries would also be similar to the China story. The offices of Asean Affairs in Bangkok are just down the street from an importer of foreign cars and it appears that they are extremely busy as all types of imported cars are fitted for delivery to customers living in Thailand.
The strengthening of the Thai baht certainly makes imported cars more affordable even though there are high tariffs on cars imported into Thailand.
Recent news reports that China is home to the most dynamic growth in luxury goods and is poised to see a 25 percent rise this year and is slated to become the third largest market for luxury goods within the next five years.
Certainly the sale of luxury goods is a boon particularly to Europe, which is the home to many luxury goods producers such as LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. Although China is frequently cited as a producer of counterfeit luxury goods that often flood the street markets of Asean countries, it appears its most prosperous citizens want the real thing. About half of the luxury good that Chinese shoppers buy are purchased outside of China.
The Asia Pacific region held a 35 percent share of the luxury goods market in 2010 and that share will continue to increase. The United States is till the largest national purchaser of luxury items and China is third, at this point time.
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