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EUROPEAN UNION: The Comité Colbert, the French luxury goods association, is expanding beyond its borders. At a luncheon in Paris, Comité president Elisabeth Ponsolle des Portes disclosed plans to welcome a handful of members from countries without enough critical mass to have their own industry body. She declined to name them, but it is understood the firms under consideration include candidates from Germany, Denmark and Eastern Europe. She also said the group would promote French savoir faire and taste in Brazil next year and in Turkey in 2013.

Along with the Middle East, China has been a recent focus for the Comité. Ponsolle des Portes said the number of shops in China operated by its members tripled between 2005 and 2009, the fruit of the collective action of its 75 members. She likened France to a “Silicon Valley” for purveyors of luxury goods, from jewelry and fashions to food, hospitality and home products.

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