NIKE International recorded the fastest sales growth in the Asia-Pacific region of all its markets for the first quarter this fiscal year. Asia-Pacific sales between June and August totalled US$100 million, a 52 per cent surge over last year. The results represented the strongest growth against all other retailing markets, including the United States, Europe, Canada and Latin America. Total sales revenue worldwide increased by 22 per cent over the period. Sale revenue in the US market stood at US$974 million, up 30 per cent. President of the company Thomas Clarke expected the growth in the Asia-Pacific region would continue as the markets had tremendous development potential. 'In the US, we sell one pair of shoes for every three people each year but, in Japan we are selling one pair for every 40 people. 'There is a lot to advance.' Retailing of athletic products in China, mainly footwear, was still in its infancy, accounting for a small amount of total sales revenue, Mr Clarke said. Sales on the mainland market amounted to about US$10 million in the past fiscal year. 'I think promotions are doing fine,' he said. 'It's selling which is difficult sometimes. 'We are selling through a joint-venture partner and retailing is not that well-developed on the mainland. 'By the year 2000, the volume of turnover in China will start to get to a significant level.' Manufacturing costs had remained quite stable in the past financial year, Mr Clarke said. The company had teamed up with a Taiwanese and a South Korean sub-contractor to produce athletic products in Asian factories. China and Indonesia were the biggest manufacturing bases for the company's footwear, each generating 30 per cent of total output. The remaining 40 per cent was produced in Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam and Thailand. Nike spokesman Dusty Kidd said labour costs in China had surged by 50 to 60 per cent during the past few years while minimum wages in Indonesia had doubled in the past two years. Despite inflation in wages in existing production bases, the company had no plans to move from its mainland bases to cheaper locations. 'Labour is only a very small component in the total production cost,' Mr Kidd said. 'It is not because of cheaper labours cost that we move from one country to another region.' Productivity in the existing bases was increasing, compensating for higher costs, he said.