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How Asia Is Becoming A Retail Frontier

While establishing a business in Asia has always been a consideration for global brands, it is now becoming imperative for the biggest companies to develop a strong presence within the continent. This shift is a consequence of economic prosperity in many Asian countries, with consumers having unprecedented sums of money to be channelled into retail spending. Governments and regulatory bodies have also made legislations that are amenable to setting up retail businesses, making this an attractive time to be buying and selling in Asia.

The main contributors to Asia’s retail boom are those that form influential parts of retail markets across the world. The automobile industry has become increasingly prominent in parts of Asia. Between 2005 and 2016, the share of retail sales accounted for by automobiles in China swelled from 18.3% to 27.8%, while India enjoyed a similar boom. Considering the scale of those two countries’ populations and economies, this trend will continue to convince global automobile companies to concentrate more attention on Asian markets.

With rising salaries naturally driving a desire for improved living conditions, there has been an increase in home ownership. A need to fill those new houses has proved lucrative for creators and sellers of furnishing-related items. This desire for house items, both necessary and luxurious, has contributed significantly to the expanding range of global brands available in retail hubs of Asian cities. Visitors to many Asian cities are now likely to instantly recognize a raft of global retailers.

Online Retail Markets Continue To Emerge

The development of retail markets in Asia is not confined to the physical, however. Online retail has rapidly swelled at a rate that surpasses that of the United States. E-commerce sites have increased their share of the retail markets across the continent, with China and India unsurprisingly leading the way for Asia. Hot on their heels is Indonesia, with government ministers predicting their e-commerce industry to reach $130bn by 2020. Indonesia is becoming one of the continent’s leading financial powers, with the high level of internet connectivity within its populace making it ripe for online retail success.

This extends beyond e-commerce into the world of retail forex trading. Indonesia originally proved highly attractive for forex brokers, but strict regulations imposed by the Bank of Indonesia and economic inconsistencies had combined to reduce trade. However, many of those regulations have been modified in recent rulings. This has reintroduced the incentive for domestic traders to keep their business local, as well as attracting more global investment.

Indonesia now looks poised to become one of the leading nations in the retail forex trading market, marking a trend of economic growth across many markets in the country. Indonesia is well-established to fend off economic competition; sales turnover from retail in the country increased by around 12% in 2017, with the food and clothing industries thriving off the augmented spending power of the middle class. Indonesia’s GDP per capita has trended upwards in the last decade, giving consumers greater scope for spending in retail. The nation has become one of Asia’s rising economic powers, an appealing proposition for overseas investors in trading markets and retail markets alike.

E-Commerce Growth Appears Across Asia

Like Indonesia, countries across Asia that have widespread internet connectivity are witnessing an increase in e-commerce sales. South Korea is a notable example; the country has one of the fastest Wi-Fi connections in the world, with the ease of access ensuring that e-commerce accounted for almost 10% of total retail sales in 2017. E-commerce has been an under-utilized retail market in Asia in recent years, but retailers are beginning to act on its vast potential.

Other places are enjoying a retail boom in more traditional forms. Cities like Shanghai, Hong Kong and Dubai remain among the world’s most appealing cities to visit, in part because of their retail options. Tourism is a huge part of many nations’ economic growth and is the lifeblood of many independent retailers. Japan, in particular, is celebrating the impact of tourism, with discount retailers benefiting from increased footfall.

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