Set against a distinctly mixed global backdrop, the outlook for Asia's consumer goods and retail sector represents a bright spot. Sales growth in the region will be the fastest in the world over the next five years, averaging 8.5 per cent in US dollar terms and 4.6 per cent in average volume terms. This compares to global average rates of 5.6 per cent and 3 per cent respectively and to Western European rates of 0.6 per cent and 0.8 per cent respectively.
By 2018, Asian retail sales are expected to amount to over US$10 trillion. Almost half of the US$23 trillion in sales generated by the world's 60 largest economies and twice that of North America, the next largest region. Much of this will be driven by the regional economic powerhouses of India and China which are continuing to deliver on some of the expectations surrounding BRIC markets.
Even as Brazil languishes and Russia suffers from the economic fallout and sanctions related to its intervention in Ukraine. Added to this is a new wave of interest in other Asian economies. Indonesia has joined Turkey, Mexico and Nigeria to form the latest emerging-markets acronym, 'MINT'.
Meanwhile, retail liberalisation and rapid growth in markets such as Vietnam are also attracting investment…