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Who says
Paris is
expensive
              ChuangPeckMing
              peckming@sph com sg
              Senior Correspondent                                                                                                                                         SHOPPING
                                                                                                                                                                           FOR
DESPITE the credit crunch and talks of de                                                                                                                                  BARGAINS
flation Paris is still expensive Step into a                                                                                                                               For Asian
public toilet along the Champs Elysees                                                                                                                                     tourists
the French capital s most prestigious                                                                                                                                      shopping in
street lined with cinemas cafes and chic                                                                                                                                   Paris for
shops and you have to fork out two euros                                                                                                                                   branded
or roughly 4 It costs you only 10 cents to                                                                                                                                 products
visit the public loo in Singapore                                                                                                                                          remains a

   Maybe it s the law of demand and sup                                                                                                                                    big pull
                                                                                                                                                               BLOOMBERG
ply at work Public toilets are plentiful in
Singapore but they are hard to come by           Which brings us back to the subject of the    most 5 000 in Singapore goes for just un       doesn t think his country is too expensive
in French cities You have to search hard         high cost of Paris A decent meal includ       der 4 000 in Paris Hediard and Fauchon         for Singapore and other Asian businesses
for one there One of the journalists travel      ing drinks will set you back by 15 euros or   tea that costs about 28 a tin here is about    to set up shop although they tend to head
ling with me in Paris recently blew away         more That s about six to 10 times what         20 there The savings from a couple of         for the United Kingdom or Germany if
her precious shopping time desperately           you would spend in Singapore                  bags are enough to cover your plane ticket     they want to have a presence in Europe
seeking a loo We were in Paris because it            Hotel rooms The lovely boutique ho        to Paris Still Parisians themselves find it    Asian businesses with global ambitions in
is France s turn to run the European Un          tel we stayed in charged 350 euros a night    too much to pay for a Louis Vuitton or a       cluding those from Singapore can t ig
ion   and we were invited to witness it          after discounts which is about double the     Chanel bag After all they can buy one          nore Europe which is the world s biggest
    What a shame that public toilets are         rate in Singapore                             just as good from their local stores for a     market he argues And France is a cheap
                                                                                                                                              er base to do business with the rest of Eu
scarce in Paris and that s not just be              But before we berate those who carp        fraction of the price minus the brand
cause you expect such amenities to be eas        about Singapore being expensive it must       name Mind you these are not knock offs         rope London is too expensive Mr Favre
ily available in a country that tourists flock   be pointed out that not everything costs      of the real thing They are the works of        says We are more reasonably priced
                                                                                               French artisans and craftsmen whose               Asian tourists can t be complaining if
to France where it s said that liberty and       more in France As a general rule what is
                                                                                                                                              they are still visiting France in greater
freedom were born        cherishes human         cheap in Singapore will cost more in          shops found mostly in back lanes are of
                                                                                                                                              numbers even as the financial crunch is
rights Not far from the Champs Elysees           France and what is pricey in Singapore        ten hidden from tourists eyes
                                                 will cost less in France
                                                                                                                                              starting to bite at home Besides the muse
the principles of freedom are projected                                                           No wonder we don t hear the locals
                                                                                                                                              ums shopping in Paris for branded prod
nightly against a changing colour back              French luxury brand shops in Paris         complaining that France is expensive           ucts remains a big pull especially for
ground on the wall of a huge government          such as those of Louis Vuitton Chanel         Thanks in part also to the European Cen        Asia s new rich The Chinese now outnum
building with the blue lit the official          and Hermes are packed with tourists           tral Bank s policy of keeping a tight lid on   ber the Japanese who used to be the top
hue of the EU Eiffel Tower watching over         They queue to go in for the latest and wid    price pressures France s inflation rate this   Asian visitors
it from a distance                               est selections of bags wallets belts and      year is tipped to remain the same as in           There are still more Japanese business
   Yet as one frustrated visitor remarked        other accessories They queue also be          2007 at 1 5 per cent                           men going to France than Chinese but
perhaps half in jest France is lacking in        cause these can be had for a bargain com         Philippe Favre chairman and chief ex        the latter are catching up fast Mr Favre al
one of the most basic of human rights            pared with the higher prices charged at       ecutive of Invest in France Agency             so hopes to see more Singapore investors
public loos So it helps if you drink less        home      if they can get them at all A       France s equivalent of the Singapore Eco       heading that way Invest in France has just
while in Paris especially when it s cold         Chanel lady s bag with a price tag of al      nomic Development Board           certainly    set up an office in Singapore to see to that

				
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posted:9/6/2011
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