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Vietnam: Affluent Vietnamese have become big spenders on interior goods and Italian furniture is particularly favoured, industry insiders say.

Research and consulting firm Concetti says Vietnamese consumers spent USD15.6 million on luxury furniture from Italy in 2017.

“With enhanced living conditions and developed taste, many wealthy Vietnamese are buying high-end, imported furniture from European countries,” said Pham Tu, Vice President of HCMC Architecture Federation.

He was backed by Paolo Lemma, Italian Trade Commissioner to Vietnam, who said: “Over the last three years, import offurniture to Vietnam grew at an average rate of 33 percent. Italy ranks first among European countries exporting to Vietnam and the third worldwide, covering seven percent of Vietnamese market.

Italian interiors are also popular among the well-heeled, and price is not a major factor when they make purchasing decisions.

“Our prices range from USD1,500 to USD23,000 and can go even higher for customized products. We mainly focus on rich and upper class customers in Vietnam,” said Leonardo Cangioli, representative of an Italian lamp-making company.

“We know the prices are not low, but we are confident that our products are going to sell well in Vietnam, because the number of moneyed and affluent people here is on the rise, as is the demand for imported goods,” Cangioli said.

Below the top rung of luxury interiors, China remains the leading exporter of furniture to Vietnam, because its products are more diverse and cheaper.

The “middle and affluent class” in Vietnam, categorized as those earning USD714 a month or more, will double to 33 million people, about a third of the population, between 2014 and 2020, citing the Boston Consulting Group.

Meanwhile, market research firm Nielsen estimates that the number of middle and affluent class Vietnamese citizens will reach 44 million by 2020 and 95 million by 2030.

(Retail News Asia)