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China’s luxury market increasingly driven by millennials

By Xian Bihui Updated: 2019-06-03
Amedeo Scarpa, trade commissioner and coordinator of Italian Trade agency in China, delivers a speech at the 2019 China International Fashion Summit Forum.


China’s luxury goods market, the world’s biggest, is increasingly driven by its millennial generation, an Italian trade commissioner told reporters on Thursday.

To expand here, “you need to sync in harmony with the culture of the market,” Amedeo Scarpa, trade commissioner and coordinator of Italian Trade agency in China said during the ongoing China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) in Beijing.

“You can’t serve from outside, you have to stay,” he added.

That’s exactly what many Italian brands intend to do: stay here and grow organically, with a greater focus on sharing culture and lifestyle.

According to him, the luxury purchasing capacity of China is expected to double in 15 years, from the current 19 percent to 40 percent or even 45 percent in 2025.

Italy has signed on to join China’s Belt and Road Initiative this March and Scarpa believed the initiative would help promote free and fair trade. Annual trade between two countries has grown an average 13 percent in the past five years.

He also suggested that the two countries can make joint investment in third countries as well, such as in Africa and Central Europe.

According to his observation, the way Chinese investors doing business in Italy has matured over the years. Unlike 20 years ago when Chinese investors bought out Italian brands only to move the its production to the cheaper places, they’ve come to the realization of the great value of Made in Italy.

In this way Chinese investment match perfectly with the development of Italian manufacturing, he said.

Next year marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and Italy, when the "Year of Tourism" activities will be run to promote Italian tourism and goods, Scarpa said.