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China

Western Brands Eye India's $3.0 Billion Luxury Goods Market

Luxury brands are eager to take advantage of India’s new wealth. But the road to success is strewn with political and cultural obstacles.

Indians prefer jewellry over luxury brands
Indians prefer jewellry over luxury brands
Julien Bouissou

NEW DELHI - Advertising campaigns for luxury brands in India usually feature Bollywood actors or fashion models. Mahatma Gandhi, the embodiment of monastic life, barefooted and draped in white cloth, was for a longtime off limits. But in 2009, the German company Montblanc engraved the silhouette of India's most famous political and spiritual leader onto the nib of a limited edition pen. It retailed at $25,000.

After years of austerity, has India finally converted to luxury? The country now has some 126,000 millionaires, and this number increases each year. But very little is known about them. Their habits and consumption patterns were at the heart of a conference on luxury at the end of March in Mumbai, organized by Mint newspaper in partnership with a group of Italian brands.

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Geopolitics

Venezuela-Iran: Maduro And The Axios Of Chaos In The Americas

With the complicity of leftist rulers in Venezuela, Bolivia and even Argentina, Iran's sanction-ridden regime is spreading its tentacles in South America, and could even undermine democracies.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro visiting Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran, Iran on June 11. Venezuela is one of Iran's closest allies, and both are subject to tough U.S. sanctions.

Julio Borges

-Analysis-

CARACAS —The dangers posed by Venezuela's relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran is something we've warned about before. Though not new, the dangers have changed considerably in recent years.

They began under Venezuela's late leader, Hugo Chávez , when he decided to turn his back on the West and move closer to countries outside our geopolitical sphere. In 2005, Chávez and Iran's then president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, signed collaborative agreements in areas beyond the economy, with goals that included challenging the West and spreading Iran's presence in Latin America.

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