|JAPANESE YOUTH REDEFINE "HIP" FOR THEIR OWN GENERATION|
TOKYO, Japan -- In the late 1980s and early '90s, Japanese youth relied on
"manuals" to guide them on style -- from clothing to hang-outs, hobbies to jobs,
and the like. These were, in essence, "how-to" manuals -- lessons on how to
live one's life. The youth of that era were trying to be different from their
elders -- to speak out and express their individuality. But like so many younger
generations before them, this expression of individuality was demonstrated en masse.
Moreover, in Japan, the older generation criticized the youth who followed these
"manuals," saying that they left little room for creativity.
Today's youth are showing their differences in unity, yet again. The previous generation aspired to wear particular brands and symbols. Today's Japanese teens, on the contrary, claim to prefer brands for their inherent value and appeal -- features which they perceive as good -- rather than for their status appeal or to "fit in." Of course, this backlash is yet another way to be different -- in the same way as everyone else -- symbols in their own right.
Today's young generation overtly shuns the how-to "manuals", yet they seem to be reading "manuals" of their own. This generation's "manuals" may be disguised as magazine articles about style, cool restaurants, etc. And they continue to be influenced by media in making these choices.
Around the globe and among every generation, there is a need for youth to express themselves as individuals. And as history repeats itself, so do the patterns of the younger generations. Media continues to play an increasing role in shaping our youth.
LVMH STRENGTHENS POSITION IN UPSCALE WATCHES AND JEWELRY
PARIS, France -- In a move to strengthen the group's position in the luxury watch and jewelry market, LVMH (Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton) has acquired Zenith International S.A. LVMH has already built a strong presence in this upscale market sector with brands such as TAG Heuer, Ebel, Chaumet, Fred and Christian Dior. This new watch and jewelry division is expected to yield an annual turnover of about 1 billion Swiss francs.
LONDON, UK -- Sugar prices are likely to drop again this year, after three years of oversupply. Prices are already nearly 50% of those from 1995. And production this year is estimated to reach about 135.2 million metric tons, surpassing last year's record production of 133.9 metric tons.
The world's top sugar producers include:
PARIS, France & BEIJING, China -- Global trade talks planned for the end of this month will cover the topic of tariff liberalization which should boost economic output around the globe by about 3% (equivalent to approx. US$1.2 trillion/1.7 trillion euros).
According to the OECD, "every single country or group of countries stand to benefit from tariff liberalisation, with the benefits proportionate to the degree of liberalisation." They project that the developing world would gain around 4.9% in GDP from such market opening, compared with 2.5% for the industrial nations.
In the past 15 years, developing countries' share of world trade has risen from less than 20%. Today, their share represents about 30% of trade. And among these nations, China, India and Africa stand to gain the most from these new policies. India would be the biggest gainer, with a gross domestic product (GDP) boost of some 9.6%, followed by China with 5.5% and sub-Saharan Africa with 3.7%, according to a report published by the OECD on multilateral trade liberalization and non-OECD countries.
On November 15, Chinese and U.S. negotiators signed a breakthrough agreement to remove trade barriers between the two nations. The agreement obligates China to cut tariffs an average of 23% and promises greater access to the relatively closed Chinese market for U.S. banks, insurance and telecommunications companies, as well as Hollywood film exporters. These changes will not take place, however, until China gains entry to the WTO. Once this takes place, and China adapts to WTO standards, this will reduce many distribution and regulatory hardships that U.S.and other businesses now face in China.
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