From http://www.cantonfairtrading.com/en/shownews.php?id=1211 Date: 2008-09-09
XIAMEN - By 2009 China will become the largest consumer market in Asia, said Chinese Minister of Commerce Chen Deming.
Speaking at the 12th Xiamen International Trade and Investment Fair on Monday in the east Fujian Province, Chen predicted entertainment, housing and tourism will expand their shares in the domestic market.
"As one of the world＇s fastest growing consumer markets, China is a world leader in mobile phone sales, domestic tourism, and broadband network penetration," said Chen.
He also noted China is the second largest seller and buyer of gold and automobiles in the world. The country ranks third in consumption of luxury items and health care supplies.
The average per capita GDP reached US$2,456 last year, said Chen. He added that consumption had bigger shares than investment for the first time in the nation＇s economic growth.
For the past five years, China＇s annual consumption growth rate had been 13.1 percent. If the growth rate continues at just 10 percent, China＇s consumer market scale will exceed 30 trillion yuan (US$4.38 trillion) by 2020.
Chen predicted China will top the global luxury market by 2014, with a market share of 23 percent. He also said by 2015, the country could become the world＇s fourth largest provider of outbound tourists.
Currently, China is the second largest consumer market in Asia next to Japan. That is predicted to change by 2015. According to a report by the Boston Consulting Group, done in 2007, China is likely to become the world＇s second largest consumer market next only to the Unites States.