The Asian economic growth story that started in the 1980’s has seen exponential growth. Japan surprised the world with its economic might and ever since has occupied the second position in terms of GDP and economic standing. This was followed by growth stories of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, India and the latest and mightiest addition – China. Although the current financial crisis has negatively impacted the world, China has maintained a 7% growth rate. This shows that irrespective of the economic outlook, Asian countries cannot be ignored.
It is no surprise then that corporations are continuing to move and seize arbitrage opportunities in Asia. There is a wealth of opportunities to be seized here. Governments and business houses are recognizing this and this is evident from the impetus to the Sports, Entertainment and Lifestyles business’. With a constant influx of ‘westerners’ into Asian countries and an exponential rise in the Asian standard of living, there is a growing demand for quality lifestyle, sports and entertainment services. Additionally, to compete with low wage economies who have moved up the value chain into designing and manufacturing microprocessors to pharmaceuticals offering high value services positioned as lifestyle and entertainment will fetch high premiums.
I will expound on the following areas to elaborate on the emergence of the Sports, Entertainment & Lifestyle Industry:
1. Singapore’s Kallang Sports Hub:
According to Merill-Lynch’s 2007 Wealth Report, Singapore has the highest number of HNI’s. It has also been called the best place for Asian expatriates to live in (according to an ECA International Survey). It has also consistently topped the list of countries with the best business environment. Hence it is only logical for sports and lifestyle business’ to use Singapore to launch their products. In fact the Singaporean government is using sports, lifestyle and tourism as three pillars for economic growth. This, in a way, is a value addition being provided to the entire country. In fact the country has seen a huge inflow of products catering to HNI’s like arts, auction houses, wine and diamond traders.
Government policies are changing to attract more investment in the area of S,L & E. An instance of this is the ‘Singapore Freeport’ which is the first premium, high-security storage and off-shore trading facility in Asia. This facility will provide logistics and storage solutions for luxury goods. Clients are granted 24-hour access to ship, store, display and transact in tax-free, private showrooms. The facility will be fully operational in 2009.
KALLANG SPORTS HUB
The global sports market is estimated to grow from US$96 billion in 2006 to US$124 billion in 2011. The Asia-Pacific market is projected to grow from US$13.7 billion in 2006 to US$17.7 billion in 2011. The Singaporean government is providing the necessary environment to allow for the sporting infrastructure to flourish and thus have Singapore become an international hub.
From the time of the 117th International Olympic Committee session in July 2005, all eyes were on Singapore which was riding the sports wave. Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon and the Caltex Masters Cup have given a fillip to Singapore’s sports industry. Additionally, people the world over are waking up to the health benefits offered by sports. Singapore being a transshipping port allows for exciting water sports and high flying leisure activities like yachting and sailing to be conducted. Keeping all this in mind, it comes as no surprise that Singapore, the country with the Midas touch, is positioning itself as the Sports, Lifestyle and Entertainment hub for the world. The Kallang Sports Hub is the first and largest integrated sporting property through a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) in the world. Under this PPP project, the Singapore Sports Council (SSC)...