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Jun 12, 2009
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French luxury sector look to increase Gulf presence

By
AFP
Published
Jun 12, 2009

PARIS, June 12, 2009 (AFP) - French luxury firms are seeking to increase their presence in the Gulf to help offset the impact of the global financial crisis on the sector, a group repesenting 70 top-end labels said Friday 12 June.



"The only possible response to the crisis is willingness, investment and higher visibility," Elisabeth Ponsolle des Portes, CEO of the Comite Colbert, told AFP.

"We hope to strengthen our presence on our markets, specially those that can figure as relays for growth," such as China and the Gulf states, "that are suffering little, or not at all from recession," she said.

The Comite Colbert is a think-tank of 70 luxury houses aimed at defending the sector and playing a role in soft diplomacy.

It this week sponsored a forum in Paris gathering ministers from Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and France.

Ponsolle des Portes said the Gulf nations represented between five and seven percent of the French luxury sector's global turnover but that growth potential was between 10 and 30 percent.

More than 30 French luxury boutiques are to open in the region in 2009.

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