Thu, Jul 02, 2009 - Page 11 News List

Economic advisers urge firms to target emerging markets

By Crystal Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Council for Economic Planning and Development yesterday urged industry to take note of the increasing business opportunities in emerging markets worldwide, saying diversifying into these markets would help to avoid a repeat of the harm to the nation’s industries by the global financial crisis.

The government’s top economic advisory body cited international reports, including from Global Insight and the World Bank, that say that China, India, Brazil and other emerging markets may evolve from “world factories” to “world markets” as more of their citizens become well-to-do.

The number of Chinese middle-income earners with an annual income of between US$6,000 and US$30,000 climbed to 35 percent of the population last year from 1 percent in 1990, the council said, adding that the figure was expected to hit 70 percent, or 990 million people, by 2020.

Likewise, the ratio of middle-income earners in India rose from 1 percent of the population in 2000 to 5 percent last year, and it is forecast to climb to 20 percent in 2015 and 40 percent in 2025, the council said.

The statistics mean there is huge potential for various industries and interested companies should heed the trend and tap into these mass markets, the council said.

The council encouraged Taiwanese exporters to diversify their products to meet the needs of emerging markets.

It predicted low-priced computers, low-priced cars and micro-loans would be in great demand.

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