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ASEAN 2015: How can you prepare your business for what lies ahead?
Saturday, 12th April 2014
Source : Nielsen

In light of the growing uncertainty surrounding the regional economic integration of ASEAN in 2015, being ready for what lies ahead presents challenges for even the most well-prepared companies.
As the deadline for ASEAN 2015 looms, the marketplace is rife with speculation, opinion, counter-opinion and rhetoric on whether the member states are prepared. One view which is shared by an overwhelming majority, however, is that the ASEAN region will play an increasingly important role in the global economy in the years to come.

And with good reason. The ASEAN region has huge potential for growth in the coming years – Nielsen estimates Southeast Asia’s GDP will grow by close to 7 percent per annum over the next decade. The region boasts a population of 600 million, and within this population is a rapidly expanding middle class community who are establishing the financial means to move beyond subsistence living.

While today’s Asian middle class consumer population represents around 30 percent of the global middle class, by the end of this decade that number will increase to more than 50 percent of the global middle class, representing more than US$2 trillion in new consumption in Southeast Asia alone.

As the region’s middle class population expands, they are also becoming more aspirational and seek out opportunities to trade up to premium offerings which demonstrate their rising social status.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, the region has an expanding pool of affluent consumers who are cashed up and spending big on everything from travel and leisure to luxury goods, fine dining, cars and real estate.

By 2020 global spending on luxury goods is expected to increase by 20 percent to around US$1.2 trillion, and much of this growth will come from Asia.

In Southeast Asia, Nielsen estimates the affluent consumer population will double between 2013 and 2020, and their discretionary spending will rise by about 5 percent per annum, representing an additional US$100 billion.

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