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China to be top luxury goods consumer

December 12, 2005 11:56 IST
Chinese people, especially youngsters, will consume about 29 per cent of the world's total luxury goods in 2015, surpassing Japan as the world's top luxury brands consumer, US securities dealer Goldman Sachs has forecast in its latest report.

The report released in Bejing predicted that the demand of luxury goods in China will grow by 25 per cent annually in the coming four years, with its global share surging from 12 per cent in 2004 to 29 per cent in 2015, exceeding Japan's expected 28 per cent at that time.

Young people in their 20s and 30s are reported to be the majority of big-spending consumers in China. Statistics show that the number of young consumers in China is 11 times larger than that in Japan.

China now ranks as the third largest consumer of luxury goods in the world, with sales of luxury goods exceeding $6 billion in 2004, about 12 per cent of the world total, Xinhua news agency reported.

Of that 12 per cent global share, about 10 per cent comes from the overseas market. The Goldman Sachs report said Chinese tourists have been the main buyers of some prestigious brands from Europe and other overseas countries.

China sent about 25.8 million tourists to overseas countries in the first ten months this year, up eight per cent year-on-year, said the National Tourism Administration. British consultant agency EIU predicts that by 2008, the number of Chinese overseas tourists will rise to 49 million.

The World Tourism Organisation also forecasts that about 100 million Chinese people will tour abroad in 2020.

As Chinese tourists bring home branded goods from Hong Kong and Europe, more foreign top brands owners are casting their eyes on China's domestic market.

In October this year, Top Marques, a popular show that displays top world luxury brands made its maiden appearance in Shanghai, the country's fashion centre, raking in $200 million from the Chinese consumers in three days.

Secretary-general of the China Brand Association, Yang Qingshan said China's top-brand consumers now account for 13 per cent of the total population, about 169 million people, a number expected to expand rapidly in the coming years with the rapid development of the Chinese economy.

Anil K Joseph in Beijing
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