Asian fake watches and emerging markets
Myself and my better half are on holiday in Thailand for the next two weeks and we’re already loving it. We’re starting off in Bangkok and we’ll be heading South in the next couple of days for the remainder of our break.
Bangkok is an incredibly vibrant city with lots of noise and lots of smells but in a good way! One thing I’ve noticed already is the difference between the old Thai way of life and the new Western consumerism that sits alongside it. Just yesterday we saw a beautiful ancient Buddhist temple on one side of a road and a busy Starbucks directly opposite. I guess there’s no stopping progress but I wonder if the world is at risk of losing its culture in the process?
I’ve been blown away by the number of fake designer brands that are so easily available here. You can quite easily pick up a designer watch, from a Rolex to a Breitling, for about £60 that would be very difficult to distinguish from the real thing unless you look very closely. I wouldn’t be too sure that it would last long, though. Even though the outside looks good quality the inside movement will likely be a poor quality Chinese substitute. At the end of the day, the old maxim still holds true – you get what you pay for.
Asia will definitely get better at manufacturing
I wonder how long it will be before the Asian manufacturer’s of these fake goods up their game and start producing quality items that are a fraction of the price of their Western counterparts? When Asian quality finally meets or exceeds what we’re producing in the West it could be the beginning of the end for our manufacturing industries. I see the start of this already with the massive quantities of cheap Chinese steel that the UK has been importing of late.
This also makes me wonder if an opportunity to benefit from the rapid advance of Asian production is on the horizon. If a Chinese factory starts producing an unbranded watch with very high-quality components, for a fraction of the price of a European effort, then I suspect Western consumers would buy it in their droves. This opens up possibilities for importers and resellers to make a profit if they can get in early enough to ride the wave. This is definitely an area to keep a keen investing eye on in my opinion.