For the West, the year 2008 marked the beginning of a difficult period of crisis, recession, and uneven recovery. For China, 2008 was also an important turning point, but one followed by a decade of rapid progress that few could have foreseen.Of course, when the United States (US) investment bank Lehman Brothers collapsed, triggering a global financial crisis, China’s leaders were deeply worried.
Southeast Asia’s rapid urbanisation and increasing affluence has led to concerns about the growth of consumerism and its impact on sustainability. Consumerism is the constant purchasing of goods and services not termed as needs such as food, water, clothing and shelter and follows changing trends and fashion.
Thanks to rapid development in Southeast Asia, ASEAN’s middle class is set to grow and become a critical segment of society, acting as a vital engine of growth in the region. It is expected that the middle class will rise from 29 percent in 2010 to 65 percent of the population by 2030.
ASEAN’s positive economic growth has seen many changes in the way its citizens go about their daily lives. With an economy that is fast growing and the potential for progress still positive, the rise of the middle class is very much apparent within the region. An increase in disposable income has allowed some room for people to spend on items or products that might not be a necessity.